Matthew Brewer, Ph.D.
Epicutaneous Vaccine Delivery Utilizing Tight Junction Disruption; Developing Therapeutics to Treat Widespread Cutaneous Viral Infections in Atopic Dermatitis Patients
Angus Fung is an undergraduate at the University of Rochester pursuing his degree within the field of Microbiology. During his junior and senior year, he has focused on two different projects within the Beck lab. The first project focuses on how to better quantify (absolute number) Staphylococcus aureus on the skin of individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD) using digital quantitative PCR. Additionally, the lab has observed from metagenome data that as S. aureus levels increase on the skin of individuals with AD the level of Cutibacterium acnes decreases. As such, Angus has begun to investigate ways to culture C. acnes from the skin and using his data from the S. aureus project develop a way to quantify C. acnes. This work is aimed at better understanding the relationship between these two organisms and whether they may compete for colonization niche on the skin.
Visiting Undergraduate, Cornell University
Radha Pandya is an undergraduate at Cornell University pursuing her degree within the field of Human Development. During the summer of her freshman and sophomore year, she focused on two distinct projects within the Beck lab. The first project was determining how Staphylococcus aureus influenced gene expression within primary human keratinocytes to identify key gene families dysregulated after epithelial cell/bacteria co-culture. Radha’s second project investigated whether a tight junction disrupting peptide (used to facilitate transdermal vaccination) affected the development and organization of barrier within epithelial cells. These projects aim to better understand how perturbations of barrier within the skin epithelium can be affected during disease (S. aureus) or vaccine delivery.