Hailey Barker

Student NameHailey Barker
Faculty Mentor NameMariola, Edelmann, PhD
CollegeCollege of Agriculture and Life Science
MajorMicrobiology and Cell Science
Research InterestsMicrobiology, Molecular Biology, Medicine
Academic AwardsN/A
OrganizationsAmerican Medical Student Association, American Society of Microbiology, MentorGNV
Hobbies and InterestsPhotography, painting, going to the beach

Research Project

An Exosome Derived Vaccine Candidate for Nontyphoidal Salmonella?

“Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) is one of the most prevalent causes of foodborne illnesses leading to roughly 95 million infections and over 57,000 deaths per year globally. With the increase of multi-drug resistance NTS cases, the need for preventative measures for NTS has become more critical. Due to the severity of NTS infections, contraction of the bacteria through food and water sources can cause life-threatening symptoms. While medical intervention can treat certain cases of NTS infections with antimicrobial medications, there are currently limited preventative measures for controlling NTS infections. The only current preventative measures used are strict sanitation practices for food handling and water purification exposing the need for a more effective preventative measure against NTS. S. typhimurium is an intracellular bacterium that infects host macrophages and elicits an immune response that includes the release of extracellular vesicles called exosomes, which are small vesicles 30-150 nm in size. The objectives of this project are to determine if exosomes produced from Salmonella infection protect against future salmonellosis, determine how the exosomes stimulate the immune system, and identify the Salmonella antigens trafficked in exosomes. It is our hope that our research will develop a novel vaccine strategy against S. typhimurium.”