B.S., Biology, Rider University, Lawrenceville
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton
I am employing genetic screens to better understand how the cell wall gets made in the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Some familiar (and important) cell wall synthesis components have mysterious functions in Staph. I hope to figure out what they are doing in this important clinical pathogen, as well as to identify novel components fundamental to cell wall biogenesis. The cell wall is our first, best antibiotic target, but Staph strains like MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are refractory to most drugs that inhibit cell wall synthesis. A better understanding of cell wall synthesis is the first step in solving this problem.