Yoelkys Morales


Yoelkys Morales
BA, Biology
Williams College
Williamstown, MA
MD, PhD Student
Joan Mecsas, PhD, Rotation Adviser




During my rotation, I worked with the enteric pathogen Yersina pseudotuberculosis. Yersinia uses a type III secretion system which allows it to directly translocate effector proteins (Yops) into target cells. By demonstrating how these Yop proteins are able to debilitate the immune response it would be possible to better understand the mechanisms necessary for the immune system to fight off this class of bacterium. I focused on the effect of YopH on the adaptor protein SLP-76 within primary mouse neutrophils. YopH is a tyrosine phosphatase that is able to target many proteins, including SLP-76, along the signaling cascades needed for neutrophil activation. By studying the mechanisms by which YopH leads to neutrophil inhibition and reduced bacterial killing we will be able to better understand how bacterium of this class avoid the immune system and establish an infection in addition to gaining a more detailed picture of the signaling cascades required for neutrophil activation.

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