Annual Student Organized Meeting

Keynote Speaker: 5:15 – 6:15 pm

Shantanu Bhatt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia

“Small regulatory RNAs: big players in the virulence of enteropathogenic E. coli”

Dr. Bhatt studies the bacterial pathogen enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). EPEC is a major public health concern in developing countries, where it causes significant morbidity and mortality in infants. The genetic basis for the virulence of EPEC is the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE). Whereas transcriptional control of the LEE has been well-characterized, post-transcriptional regulation of the LEE has been understudied. So, Dr. Bhatt has focused his career on uncovering how trans-encoded small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) modulate the expression of the LEE and, thereby, control the virulence of EPEC. He uses a highly interdisciplinary approach by incorporating tools from bioinformatics, genetics, and biochemistry to interrogate and characterize these sRNAs. In addition to bacterial pathogenesis research, Dr. Bhatt is a passionate mentor and teacher. As a professor at Saint Joseph’s University, he teaches students both inside the lab and the classroom.


Student Talks (4:00pm to 5:00pm)

4:00-4:15pm: “Microbial cooperation enhances Clostridioides difficile pathogenesis

Alexander Smith, PhD Candidate in the Zackular lab, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

4:15-4:30pm: “Defining the bacterial and host factors responsible for caspase-1-11-independent cell death during infection by Salmonella enteritidis”

Beatrice Herrmann, PhD Candidate in the Brodsky lab, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

4:30-4:45pm: “Age-associated defects in the adaptive immune response to Clostridium difficile infection impair the development of a protective immune response in the elderly

Matthew Bell, PhD Candidate in the Kutzler lab, Drexel University College of Medicine

4:45-5:00pm: “Microbial-based mechanisms of accelerated wound healing”

Ellen White, PhD Candidate in the Grice lab, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Keynote Speaker: 5:15 – 6:15 pm

Virtual meeting information to be emailed to branch members
Non-members can livestream the program from the Branch YouTube Channel