2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Undeclared
Mentor: Paul Bollyky (Medicine - Infectious Diseases and Microbiology & Immunology)

“Investigating the Association of Pf Bacteriophage with Pa Antibiotic Tolerance and Resistance in the CF Airway”

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) infection is typically found in the airways of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and establishes biofilms, slimy collections of microbes and extracellular polymers, in the airway. The Bollyky lab has hypothesized that Pf bacteriophage virus infecting Pa, promote Pa antibiotic tolerance and increase the likelihood of genetically encoded antibiotic resistance. This summer, Maya will study Pa isolates from CF sputum samples to determine if Pf phage is associated with antibiotic tolerance and resistance. She will utilize a Minimal Biofilm Eradicating Concentration (MBEC) assay to conduct antibiotic susceptibility testing of the biofilms and investigate genetically encoded antibiotic resistance in the Covert Lab. This study will improve our understanding of Pf association with Pa antibiotic resistance.