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Paige Hart '17

“Recapitulating Immuno-Antimicrobial Synergy against Escherichia coli infections”

Major/minor: Biology Major
Hometown: Saylorsburg, PA
Project Advisor(s): Dr. Kara Mosovsky

Briefly describe your project.

The purpose of my project was to see if the phenomenon called immuno-antimicrobial synergy occurs when treating Escherichia coli infections with a combination treatment of an antibiotic and immune stimulant.

Why did you decide to turn your idea into a SOAR project?

My project was a continuation of Dr. Mosovsky’s dissertation on the phenomenon of immuno-antimicrobial synergy seen when treating Burkholderia thailandensis infections with an immune stimulant and an antibiotic.

How did your faculty advisor guide you through your research?

The best part about working with Dr. Mosovsky over the summer was experiencing what it is like to work in a lab and learning in depth about immuno-antimicrobial synergy.

What has been your biggest obstacle so far?

My biggest obstacle during SOAR was time management as well as coping with my father’s diagnosis of leukemia.

What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

My biggest takeaway from my project is that I am highly interested in the real-world application of different treatments.

What was the result of your project?

Unfortunately, we could not prove that synergistic killing of E. coli was occurring since we did not have enough data by the end of SOAR.

Will you expand on your research after this summer is over? If so, where would you like to see it go?

I would like to continue my research in the form of an independent study in the spring. The focus may be on the effect of antioxidants on reactive oxygen species produced by macrophages.

In your own words, how do you feel about being awarded this opportunity? 

I am extremely grateful that I had this opportunity. If I had not experienced this I would not have realized how much I enjoy working in a lab setting and how interested I am in the real world application of medications.