My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms controlling bloom termination in the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. Specifically, I am investigating the role of metacaspases in regulating programmed cell death (PCD). Characterization of metacaspase function in K. brevis programmed cell death may lead to the development of ecological biomarkers to serve as indicators of bloom progression and will further the understanding of unicellular PCD and the role of metacaspases as an evolutionary core of PCD mediators.
Sebastian S, Dillon ST, Lynch JG, Blalock LT, Balon E, Lee KT, Comstock, L. E., Conlan, J. W., Rubin EJ, Tzianabos, A. O., and Kasper DL (2007). A defined O-antigen polysaccharide mutant of Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain has attenuated virulence while retaining its protective capacity. Infect Immun 75, 2591-2602.
Honors and Awards:
NOAA Oceans and Human Health Pre-doctoral Scholar 2008-2012
Provost’s Scholarship, MUSC, 2008 AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, MUSC, 2008