Ph.D., Washington University, Missouri, U.S.A.
Biol 211, Principles of Biology I and labBiol 602, Biology of Cancer - Course developerBiol 311, Cell BiologyBiol 111, 112, General Biology and lab - Taught ½ of this courseBiol 550, Advanced Cellular and Molecular BiologyBiol 801, Introduction to Research
Research InterestsVirus infections pose a serious health threat to both plants and animals. In order for such infections to exert their negative effects, however, viruses must be able to move from cell-to-cell and spread within their hosts. My research examines the methods by which viruses hijack plant cells to facilitate their movement. In particular, I am interested in the potential role of the host cell cytoskeleton in this process. The cytoskeleton can serve as tracks along which cellular cargo, including invading viruses, can travel. Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) has been shown to require the host cytoskeleton for its cell-to-cell spread but the mechanism underlying this requirement is unknown. I am currently studying the potential association of TBSV proteins with various components of the plant cell cytoskeleton using both microscopy and biochemical techniques. A greater understanding of the mechanisms of virus movement may lead to methods for slowing or stopping virus spread in important crop plants.