Catherine Beckwith, D.V.M, Ph.D., Diplomate, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, received her doctoral training with Dr. Lela Riley at the University of Missouri where her research focused on development of diagnostic assays, identification of virulence factors, and characterization of the pathogenesis of rodent Helicobacter infections. With the SERCA, Dr. Beckwith will build upon her background in research and obtain additional training that will allow her to develop into an independently funded research investigator. Dr. Beckwith will train in the rich intellectual environment of SU where Dr. Stanley Falkow, an internationally renowned leader in bacterial pathogenesis research, will mentor her. Dr. Beckwith is co-sponsored by Linda Cork, D.V.M., Ph.D., a veterinary pathologist and the Department Chair of Comparative Medicine, who will ensure that she has the resources and time to carry out her research. Clinical and teaching responsibilities will be only as sufficient to maintain her clinical skills. Dr. Beckwith will conduct an in-depth research project, present her research at national scientific meetings, participate in laboratory meetings, attend specialized courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and attend seminars and journal clubs related to bacterial pathogenesis. Dr. Beckwith's research will use a molecular and genetic approach to identify and characterize virulence factors in H. hepaticus, the cause of IBD, chronic active hepatitis, and hepatocellular tumors in mice. The H. hepaticus-infected mouse is an animal model of chronic bacterial infection, which closely mimics human hepatobiliary and inflammatory bowel diseases. Dr. Beckwith will create a transposon library in H. hepaticus and identify virulence factors through negative selection in mice. Novel virulence factors and the host response will be characterized using traditional and cutting edge techniques including global gene expression analysis with microarrays. Characterization of virulence factors is essential to understanding the pathogenesis of IBD and hepatitis caused byH. hepaticus. Recent evidence suggests a link between helicobacters and chronic hepatobiliary diseases in humans. The long-term goal of the proposal is to develop new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic liver and intestinal disease in humans.
|Gulani, Jatinder; Norbury, Christopher C; Bonneau, Robert H et al. (2009) The effect of Helicobacter hepaticus infection on immune responses specific to herpes simplex virus type 1 and characteristics of dendritic cells. Comp Med 59:534-44|
|Belzer, Clara; Stoof, Jeroen; Beckwith, Catherine S et al. (2005) Differential regulation of urease activity in Helicobacter hepaticus and Helicobacter pylori. Microbiology 151:3989-95|