Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
Dissertation Project: Characterization of Fibrinogen-coagulation Factor XIII Interactions
While an undergraduate at the University of St. Thomas, I worked in the environmental chemistry laboratory of Dr. Kristine Wammer. The research in the Wammer Lab focused on the degradation products of antibiotics and how these products can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance. Specifically, I examined the products formed when antibiotics are treated with ozone, a purification step found in some drinking water processing plants.
I began my graduate studies here at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of 2012. My first rotation was in the laboratory of Dr. Alisa Wolberg, where I worked on a variety of projects examining the biochemistry of coagulation. In my second rotation, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Nigel Mackman and examined the ability of oxidized phospholipids to induce monocyte tissue factor expression. My final rotation was with Dr. Robert Nicholas in the Department of Pharmacology where I characterized platelet function in serotonin receptor knockout mice.
When it came time to join a laboratory for my thesis work, I decided to return to the Wolberg Lab. Overall, the Wolberg Lab examines the molecular and biochemical mechanisms surrounding coagulation, specifically those involved with the molecule fibrinogen. My current research involves defining the binding interaction between coagulation factor XIII and the gamma-chain of fibrinogen using a variety of techniques including ELISA and quantitative cysteine reactivity. I am also generating recombinant human fibrinogens to help uncover the minimal motif necessary for factor XIII binding. Characterization of this interaction may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of venous thrombosis, a clotting disorder that affects millions annually. For more information, on this work, visit on the Wolberg laboratory website.