Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and cAMP: Examination of a Possible Virulence Mechanism
for This Deadly Pathogen
Instructor: Michaela Gazdik, Ph.D.
Up to two students interested in biology, pre-professional science, or biochemistry.
Interest in laboratory-based science as opposed to field biology is also preferred.
Students who will be successful in the lab normally have a strong background in high
This project uses a non-pathogenic bacterium, M. smegmatis, as a model organism for studying the deadly human pathogen M. tuberculosis. A recent development in the field suggests that changing levels of cAMP in M. tuberculosis provide a mechanism to avoid the immune system and cause disease in humans. This
project will examine levels of cAMP in M. smegmatis under various environmental conditions in order to learn more about the regulation
of cAMP production. Students will obtain hands-on experience in standard microbiological
culturing methods, perform an ELISA assay, and learn how to use basic molecular equipment
such as a fluorescent microplate reader and gel electrophoresis chambers.
Michaela Gazdik, Ph.D.
Dr. Gazdik obtained her B.S. degree in biotechnology from Rutgers University and her
M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical sciences from the State University of New York
at Albany. Her research interests are based in molecular microbiology, specifically
studying gene regulatory mechanisms that allow human pathogens to cause disease. Dr.
Gazdik has been at Ferrum College for five years as an Assistant Professor of Molecular
Biology and is the current Program Coordinator for the Biology program.
If you have specific questions about this project, please contact Dr. Gazdik directly