Natasha Kirienko headshot

WEBSITE(S)| http://kirienkolab.rice.edu/index.html

Mentored presenters may have participated in these courses

BIOC 310

Student Project Titles List

Utilizing PINK-1 GFP C. elegans assay to identify precocious activation of mitophagy

Characterization of the Ethanol and Stress Response Element (ESRE) Network in C. elegans

Identifying the Interactions between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans using a Caenorhabditis elegans model

Utilizing Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Hyperactive Mitophagy as a Novel Cancer Therapy

Research Areas

Research in my lab currently focuses on two interrelated topics. The first of these goals is to identify novel treatments for bacterial infections that exhibit resistance to antimicrobials. Antimicrobial resistant bacteria cause over 1.5 million nosocomial infections per year, and over 100,000 deaths. As antimicrobial misuse continues at a virtually unchecked pace, resistance has flourished, making new treatments desperately needed. We've developed a liquid-based, Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection assay that utilizes the master virulence factor pyoverdin for pathogenesis. Using this assay, we've identified small molecules that inhibit P. aeruginosa virulence or that promote innate immune activation. Research within the past twenty years has increasingly demonstrated that innate immunity plays a crucial role in priming the adaptive immune response and in mitigating the earliest sequelae of infection.