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B.S., Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 2010
Honors and Awards:
Approximately five percent of adults in the U.S. that seek medical treatment are diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), a broadly defined clinical syndrome characterized by inflammation of the mucosa of the paranasal sinuses. Despite the prevalence of CRS very little is understood about the etiology or pathogenesis of this complex disease, though host-microbe interactions form the basis of current research. Recent culture-independent studies by our lab and others have revealed that CRS is characterized by bacterial community members that are found in both healthy and diseased sinuses. These studies have confounded the link between microbe-host pathogenesis, but have also contributed to the formation of new hypotheses considering how the sinus microenvironment controls microbial metabolism, potentially linking microbial metabolites to disease state. Using both bioinformatics, and bacterial physiology, my research will directly investigate how microbial community structure and metabolic activity is associated with chronic disease in the human sinuses.