Undergraduate Biology and Nursing Research Students Present Research at Regional American Society for Microbiology Meeting

Posted on 11/9/2015 1:35:48 PM

Kimberly Ghorm (biology, pre-med) and Kara McClain (nursing, McNair Scholar) presented their medical microbiology research at the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ABASM) meeting on November 7, 2015.

Undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, among others, were in attendance. McClain won the Award of Excellence in Microbiology for first place Undergraduate Medical Poster Presentation.

Ghorm’s poster presentation was titled “The Serovar-8 Mycobacterium avium Glycopeptidolipid: Its Effect on Host Macrophage Rab5/Rab7 Expression and the Phagolysosome Fusion Process.” Using western blotting and confocal microscopy techniques, Ghorm is dissecting the disease-causing role(s) of a cell wall component of an opportunistic respiratory pathogen M. avium, on its infected host’s immunological defense mechanisms.

McClain’s poster presentation was titled “Prevalence of Co-infecting Pathogens in Ixodes scapularis from Northeast and Midwest Regions of the United States.” McClain, in a recent interdisciplinary and collaborative research venture with biologists Jeffery Larkin and Vida Irani, is comparing northeast and midwest blacklegged tick samples for three pathogens causing endemic disease; A. phagocytophilum (Anaplasmosis), Ba. microti (Babesiosis), and B. burgdorferi (Lyme disease).

IUP Health and Human Services Dean Mark Correia has kindly provided work study hours to McClain for this project.

Iyinoluwa Abimbola Adekola Estinville, Kimberly Ghorm, and Kara McClain at the Regional American Society for Microbiology Meeting

Pictured from left are undergraduate students Iyinoluwa Abimbola Adekola Estinville (nursing), Kimberly Ghorm (biology), and Kara McClain (nursing) at the ABASM meeting held at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg on Nov 7, 2015.

Department of Biology