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SOAR Profile - Shauna A. Abdouche

Name: Shauna A. Abdouche 
Major/minor: Biology 
Expected date of graduation: 2014 
Hometown: Allentown, Pa. 
Activities: A member of ODK, Rho Eta Chapter of Beta Beta Beta, and the BRAIN club; Volunteers at an elderly home 
Project title: Characterization of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Bacterial Virulence Protein Secretion 
Project advisor: Heather Felise

Shauna Abdouche saw her summer 2013 SOAR project as clear part of the preparation for her next educational step: medical school.

“When I heard that Dr. Felise was conducting research dealing with bacterial pathogens, antibacterial resistance and possible alternative antimicrobial targets, I was extremely interested and so I approached her,” Shauna explains. Her ambition resulted in a summer spent delving into the topic of “Characterization of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Bacterial Virulence Protein Secretion.”

Boiled down, Shauna’s project attempted to undercover ways to fight antibiotic resistance. Due to antibiotics’ widespread use, resistance to antibiotics has increased, threatening to make once treatable diseases incurable. One approach to deal with the rising problem of antibiotic resistance is to identify novel targets for drugs.

Shauna assisted Dr. Felise build upon previous research projects, looking closer at several compounds and gaining a better understanding of problem as a whole. “This research has the potential to have a significant impact on drug discovery research, as it may aid in discovering alternative treatment options to traditional antibiotics, as many bacterial pathogens are becoming resistant to these therapies,” Shauna says.

The biology major plans to turn her SOAR research into an Honors project.