Lisa Wong

Food Origins of Multi-Drug Resistant Hospital-Acquired Infections

This summer, the aim of my project is to investigate the origin of drug resistance in hospital acquired, multi-drug resistant bacteria. This project challenges the idea that human overuse of antibiotics is dominant in selecting for drug resistance in bacteria, and instead investigates the role of food as the primary source of new drug resistance for bacteria in our body. This is a particularly dangerous and has wide public health implications because of the ability for pathogenic bacteria in hospitals to rapidly acquire new drug resistances. Bacteria can harbor drug resistance through mobile genetic elements such as integrons and plasmids. This summer I will work on identifying such drug-resistance determinants on saprophytic sources and compare those sequences with drug resistant bacteria found in human blood stream infections.

Message to Sponsor

Going into this summer undergraduate research program, I knew I'd be learning new techniques and learning how to manage my own research project. But what I didn't realize was how much the people in my lab would help me, and how much more difficult my project would be without their continued help and support...from simply showing me how to work the lab equipment to helping me through the inevitable and unenviable task of PCR troubleshooting. I am as grateful to have such support (even if that support is just voicing enthusiasm for my project!), as I am grateful to SURF for giving me the opportunity to focus the entire summer on my research project.
  • Major: Integrative Biology
  • Mentor: Lee Riley, Public Health