Student NameDominika Burbul
Faculty Mentor NameBernadett Papp
CollegeCollege of Dentistry
MajorMicrobiology and Cell Sciences
Research InterestsOral infections, Cancer development, Drug-resistant pathogens
Academic AwardsDean's List
OrganizationsDelta Delta Sigma, Pre-Dental Society, POLSA (Polish Student Association), Dance Marathon, Friends Across the Ages
Hobbies and InterestsPiano, Ukulele, Skiing and Snowboarding, Soccer, Traveling

Research Project

Finding novel protein interactions controlling host-pathogen interactions of oral cells with a customized high-throughput assay

Cells in the oral cavity can undergo unfavorable changes during exposure to various pathogens. However, information on genome-wide mechanisms that control these global changes is sparse due to the limited access of human primary cells and the difficulties that come with culturing them. To overcome this barrier, my project will first focus on creating a customized high-throughput library to be able to study oral cells in an efficient, simple, and cost-effective manner. Next, I will utilize this high-throughput library as an assay to discover novel mechanisms that might also control host-pathogen interactions of oral cells. These mechanisms may contribute to the development of particular oral diseases. 
During my research project, I will first create protein-protein interaction screening libraries from both uninfected and virus infected primary human oral cells. Once these libraries are made, I will test the quality of the two newly created libraries to make sure they contain expressed human genes in the oral cells. Finally, I will perform the first small testing screen with my newly created oral cell libraries. My ultimate research goal is to find previously unknown protein interaction partners of human factors that may possibly play a role in oral cells following viral infections.