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Alecia Thomas

 

Alecia Thomas

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Area of Doctoral Study: Pharmaceutical Sciences

Undergraduate Institute: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Research Advisor: Angela Wilks, Ph.D.

Description of Research

My current research focus is to understand the heme acquisition, sensing and signaling pathways in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and then determine what contributions these respective pathways have in virulence. Pseudomonas is an opportunistic pathogen that preys on immunocompromised patients. It can cause a host of infections such as chronic lung infection in cystic fibrosis patients. Primarily, I study the structure-function relationship of outer membrane heme transporters and the heme-dependent regulation of these heme sensing and signaling systems in the context of infection. My research will help determine key virulence factors involved in Pseudomonas aeruginosa survival and potentially identify drug targets for antibacterial therapies.