Dalton Banh, sixth year student in the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, has been awarded an F30 grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
This award will support Mr. Banh's project "Elucidating how CRISPR-Cas Modulates the Spread of S. aureus Pathogenicity Islands" in the Marraffini Lab at The Rockefeller University, where he is currently doing research toward his PhD.
Dalton describes his project and the broader context in which it sits as:
"Horizontal gene transfer is an evolutionary process by which bacterial pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus can share and acquire traits that allow them to survive against antibiotics and thrive in the human body during infection. CRISPR-Cas is an immune system naturally found in some bacteria that defend them from invasion by parasitic viruses and other foreign mobile genetic elements. Our work aims to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which CRISPR controls the mobility and spread of S. aureus Pathogenicity Islands (SaPIs), which are of utmost medical importance because they carry virulence factors that cause deadly and drug-resistant bacterial disease."