Qualified by a research background in molecular biology, microbiology, immunology and virology focused on emerging infectious diseases pertinent to the environment and public health (e.g. Plague, HIV, and West Nile virus). I have worked in the field to collect, identify and track West Nile virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever infected mosquito populations and relay safety information to the public. Additionally, I worked as part of an international scientific team including military and industry leaders, doctors and scientists to develop novel pathogen detection methods for clinical and environmental samples.
Formed models of virulence factors for Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the plague, based on a comprehensive study involving biochemical characterization, examining metabolic traits, creating mutations in genes of interest, gene expression profiling and transcriptome analysis. Developed a novel diagnostic technique based on qPCR for the safe detection of highly pathogenic bacteria (plague, anthrax and tularemia) from clinical and environmental samples. Established an institute wide protocol for isolation of nucleic acids and quality control standards for transcriptomics and RT-qPCR based on MIQE guidelines. Submitted data to peer reviewed journals and applied for government grants. Pertinent skills: Assay setup and design using - RT-qPCR, RNA-seq, SDS-PAGE, 2D gels, MALDI-TOF MS, genome mining, bioinformatic analysis, diagnostics, nucleic acid extraction, quantification and quality control. Experimental design, critical analysis of data and experimental troubleshooting.
Pertinent skills: Assay setup and design using - RT-qPCR, RNA-seq, SDS-PAGE, 2D gels, MALDI-TOF MS, genome mining, bioinformatic analysis, diagnostics, nucleic acid extraction, quantification and quality control. Experimental design, critical analysis of data and experimental troubleshooting.
I worked in a team environment to develop a NeuroAIDS and retroviral drug resistance model by characterizing HIV strains exposed to drug therapy and psychostimulants. Models involved the use of brain tissue and lymphocyte cultures, viral antigen detection and gene expression quantification.
Pertinent skills: ELISA, cDNA synthesis, RT-qPCR, cell culture, flow cytometry, antibody staining, fluorescent and confocal microscopy, gel electrophoresis
Identification, tracking and control of West Nile virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever infected mosquito populations. Preparation of field samples for diagnostic testing and recording infected swarm locations using GIS-based mapping to predict and implement containment and public education procedures. I relayed information clearly and concisely to the public on how to prevent and treat insect infestation and reported directly to county health officials.
Expected defense date: Jan. 2014.
Wieser, A., Schneider, L., Jung, J. and Schubert, S. (2001). MALDI-TOF MS in microbiological diagnostics - identification of microorganisms and beyond. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 93, 965-974.
Rakin, A., Schneider, L. and Podladchikova, O. (2012). Hunger for iron: the alternative siderophore iron scavenging systems in highly virulent Yersinia. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 2, 1-7.
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