Name: Catherine Acio
Title of Project: Effect of the SabA protein on stomach colonization by H. pylori
Advisor: Mark Forsyth
Honors Department: Biology
Helicobacter pylori is a stomach bacteria that infects two-thirds of the world’s population that is linked to the formation of ulcers, gastritis, and gastric cancer. My project will explore the role and regulation of the bacterial SabA protein in H. pylori stomach colonization and stomach cell inflammation. This research will allow us to better understand the mechanism behind H. pylori induced diseases so that we can explore alternative treatments for H. pylori infection.
The Honors Fellowship is very important to my research because it provides the much needed funding for the necessary materials needed to conduct my experiments. In addition, the summer work will help me solely focus on my research to thoroughly investigate my research question and gather essential data.
Hometown: Centreville, VA
Majors: Biology and Psychology
Future Plans: My immediate academic goals are to successfully complete my senior honors thesis, publish another paper before graduating, and present my research findings at the American Society of Microbiology conference in the spring. Career-wise, I am currently applying for M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs to pursue my dreams of becoming an infectious disease specialist involved in translation research. My dream job would be to work in a teaching hospital seeing patients, teaching classes, and continuing my research.
Hobbies: Outside of school-related work, I volunteer with hospice care and at a psychiatric hospital. I also enjoy watching movies and television shows, shopping, playing with my pets, and spending time with my friends and family.
Fun Fact: I have a pet corn snake named Tiberius after Captain James Tiberius Kirk from the original Star Trek series!
Follow Catherine’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!