Chronic infections place a significant burden on healthcare systems worldwide, requiring over $20 billion in treatment annually in the United States alone. Notably, chronic infections are frequently polymicrobial and are often recalcitrant to antibiotic treatment. Despite this clinical importance, many key features of bacterial physiology in chronic infections, including the molecular mechanisms and impacts of microbe-microbe interactions, remain understudied. My research interests center around understanding bacterial physiology and behavior in situ during human infection, with a focus on elucidating the mechanistic links between co-infecting microbes and disease severity. My work leverages classic microbiological techniques in combination with -'omics' approaches (e.g. RNA-seq and Tn-seq) to ask foundational questions about how the important human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, causes disease and persists in human infection.
I am originally from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, which is located just west of Milwaukee. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did undergraduate research in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Thomas. After receiving a B.S. in Biology in 2010, I moved to Iowa City, IA to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa. I completed my PhD in 2015 in the laboratory of Dr. Alexander Horswill, where I studied the role of the secreted enzyme, hyaluronidase, in Staphylococcus aureus physiology and pathogenesis. I moved to Austin in August 2015 to join the Whiteley Lab as a postdoctoral fellow, followed by Atlanta in Sept 2017. Outside of the lab, I enjoy cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers, and exploring Atlanta with my husband, Jeremy, our daughter, Madeline, and our dog, Hops. Find me on Twitter: @CBIbberson
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