Photo of smiling female undergraduate student Sammy Pickell.
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

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

“Pf Phage and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Chronic Wound Infections”

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is a major cause of chronic wound infections, notable for alarming levels of antibiotic resistance. Pf bacteriophage, a virus produced by Pa, has been found to enhance the pathogenicity of Pa wound infections and decrease keratinocyte migration, and thus wound healing, through inhibition of CXCL1. Sammy is using wound models and cell culture systems available in the Bollyky lab together with phage engineering technology used in the Covert lab to interrogate the mechanisms behind these effects. These studies will contribute to novel treatments for chronic wound infections.