Christopher Barbour

Christopher Barbour

Ph.D. candidate in Mathematical Sciences

Barbour is developing new statistical methods for constructing clinical scales that can detect smaller temporal changes in disease progression with more sensitivity than any single available scale. When establishing clinical trial outcomes, it is difficult to quantify the level of disease severity and progression in neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), due to their biological complexity. An improved ability to detect changes in disease severity will allow for more economical screening of therapeutic drugs in clinical trials, such as those underway for MS. Read more…

 

Rachel Rawle

Rachel Rawle

Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology & Immunology

Rachel Rawle studies the metabolic processes in gut bacteria that mediate arsenic-related disease development. On both a domestic and global scale, arsenic contamination in soil and water has become a serious issue resulting from both industrial and natural geologic sources. It is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide consume arsenic-tainted water at levels above the health limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The ultimate goal of this research project is to provide information that can be used to develop prophylactic treatments or probiotics that use microbes to lessen the toxic effects of arsenic to humans. Read more…

 

Paul van Erp

Paul van Erp

Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology & Immunology

Paul van Erp studies adaptive immune systems in bacteria and archaea. Known as CRISPR-systems (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), these immune systems protect bacteria from invading genetic elements such as viruses. Specifically, van Erp’s research focuses on the immune system in Escherichiacoli. In this system, a RNA-protein complex called Cascade recognizes viral DNA and recruits an enzyme called Cas3 which destroys the viral DNA. He is trying to understand in molecular detail how these “protein machines” find and destroy foreign DNA. Read more…