I am interested in the interactions between rickettisal pathogens and host cells. I am currently researching the surface proteins used by Rickettsia rickettsii (the tick-borne pathogen that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever) to invade a variety of mammalian host cells during infection. Through my research, I hope to identify potential targets for the development of vaccines and more efficient diagnostics for Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
2020-2021 Department of Biology Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant
Dakota Freya Luna