I'm interested in studying ways to treat and prevent osteomyelitis, particularly using a combination of phage therapy and antibiotics.
I obtained my doctorate in 2004, working to investigate the feasibility of applying phage therapy to reduce the load of Campylobacter in broiler chickens. I later spent a year (2005/2006) in Betty Kutter’s phage laboratory at Evergreen State College, as her postdoc and lab manager, supervising undergraduate research students with their projects and working on my own project to characterize Pseudomonas phages for their potential use as therapeutic agents towards Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. At the end of my one-year term, I was offered the opportunity to move into industry to carry on with my research and develop phage-based products for use in a food analysis company in Seattle. A year later I moved to Salt Lake City to work for a company dedicated on developing phage-based products to treat bacterial problems in the agricultural sector. I was a member of the executive management team, managed the internal research department with the responsibility to improve the quality of our products, streamline our in-house protocols and production procedures.
Although, I learnt a number of valuable management and industry skills, my position limited the amount of time I could carry out research in the lab. My desire to work by a lab bench and mentor students pushed me into returning to academia. I re-entered academia back in January 2010 – I'm the Director of the Micro-Phage Epi. Lab., which is part of the Department of Internal Medicine; I predominantly have undergraduate research students to help with laboratory experiments and animal studies. Most of my undergrads obtain UROP assistantship during their tenure in my lab. I collaborate with a number of faculty, including surgeons at the University of Utah, to work on translational research that will help improve patient care in the future.
I am also the Director for the Infectious Disease Research Program with the Salt Lake City's VA IDEAS Center. I manage a number of Project Managers and Study Coordinators who work on the administration-side of research projects. Together, we support over 30 projects at any given time.