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PhD Dissertation Defense: Kelsey J. Jesser

November 5, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

UNC Marine Sciences graduate student and Noble lab member, Kelsey JesserThe PhD Dissertation Defense of Kelsey J. Jesser will be presented by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Marine Sciences and Institute of Marine Sciences. The main location of this event will be in room 222 of UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City, NC. The defense will be streamed live to conference room 3204 on the 3rd floor of Murray Hall on UNC main-campus in Chapel Hill, NC. This event will be held on Monday, November 5th at 9:00 am.

Title: Sequence-based approaches for the study of Vibrio ecology and virulence

Abstract: Members of genus Vibrio are diverse and abundant members of bacterial assemblages in marine and estuarine ecosystems. Though most are benign commensals, several Vibrio species are important human pathogens, including V. vulnificus (Vv), V. parahaemolyticus (Vp), and V. cholerae (Vc). Vibrio are increasingly prevalent in coastal ecosystems and represent an emerging threat to public health. These concerns underlie the need for advanced approaches for the study of Vibrio ecology. Three DNA-based approaches to were used to achieve research goals in order to advance scientific understanding and methodologies for the study of Vibrio ecology and pathogenicity. First, a new amplicon sequencing-based approach was developed to improve environmental surveys of pathogenic Vibrio species. This method was applied to investigate Vibrio dynamics in the Neuse River Estuary, NC. Second, the utility of various whole genome-based methods to study the emergence of Vp virulence traits was assessed, and results indicated that a novel method called protein motif fingerprinting is useful for differentiating disease-causing strains. Third, a recently-developed statistical method was used to probe Vv genomes for genes associated with either clinical or environmental strains in order to identify new markers for monitoring and public health risk mitigation. The outcomes of this work will advance future studies through improved methods and new insights into Vibrio ecology and genomic factors associated with virulence.



November 5, 2018
9:00 am - 10:00 am
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