2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: David Relman (Medicine - Infectious Diseases and Microbiology & Immunology)

“Identifying Strain Interactions That Affect Colonization in Microbial Communities”

Autumn aims to understand why certain microbial strains become long-term residents of the microbiome while others do not. To investigate this, she will use strains isolated from stool samples to create synthetic microbial communities in a controlled environment. By manipulating the composition of the community and observing how the presence or absence of specific strains impacts the colonization of others, she will identify microbial interactions that play a role in strain colonization. Autumn will study ecological interactions in microbial communities by analyzing research papers on microbial ecology and use genome sequencing and bioinformatics to analyze changes in the microbial communities.