Associate Professor, The Ohio State University and The Center for Microbial Pathogenesis. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

My interest in N. gonorrhoeae pathogenesis began with my doctoral training with Dr. Michael Apicella at the University of Iowa. At that time, very little was known about the mechanisms contributing to infection in women. Under Dr. Apicella’s guidance, I developed a primary, human, cervical epithelial cell model to enable the study of gonococcal pathogenesis as it specifically pertains to females. Our work led to the discovery of complement receptor 3 (CR3), an important pattern recognition receptor previously thought to be restricted to cells of myeloid origin, as being present and functional on the human cervix as well as its identification as a primary receptor mediating N. gonorrhoeae cervical infection in vivo. I was honored as the recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award at the University of Iowa for this work. Presently, I am a Principal Investigator at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (AWRI-NCH) and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbial Infection and Immunity at The Ohio State University (OSU). My NIH-funded, N. gonorrhoeae research program lies at the interface of pathogenic bacteriology, reproductive and cell biology, and glycobiology.