Kelsey Binder Ph.D.

University of Minnesota

My research interests involve understanding how various proteins are involved in the virulence of pathogenic bacteria and how they are involved in human diseases. My previous experience has been focused on working with bacteria known to secrete virulence factors and working to figure out the particular roles these factors play in causing diseases, providing me with a strong background for my current work of understanding the proteomics of polymicrobial diseases. As an undergraduate at Washington University I studied the mechanisms by which the Legionella pneumophila secretion system recognizes proteins for secretion into a host cell. This work ultimately resulted in a second author publication. I was also awarded an Intramural Research Training Award by the NIH in order to work as a post-baccalaureate fellow at Rocky Mountain Laboratories for two years. During this time, I continued to work on secreted virulence proteins of Brucella abortus and Salmonella enterica. This work was more focused on how known secreted proteins were capable of interacting with the host or allowing the bacteria to survive. My work on Salmonella enterica within primary human macrophages also resulted in a second-author publication. For my graduate training at the University of Minnesota I am working on chronic polymicrobial respiratory infections, with a focus on novel proteomic and microscopy methods in the Hunter laboratory. Working with Dr. Ryan Hunter provides a great opportunity for me to be a part of this up and coming field and has greatly broadened my understanding of the importance of studying pathogenesis within a physiologically relevant polymicrobial environment. I feel that I have a strong foundation for my current project of developing a novel protocol for identifying newly synthesized bacterial proteins within a host and linking them with overall disease state.