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LVC Year-Long Research Experience Timothy Tate and Drs. Morici and John

Timothy Tate and Dr. Lisa Morici

Timothy Tate is a New Orleans native. He graduated with honors from Brother Martin High School in 2008, receiving a full academic scholarship to Tulane University where he is cell biology major, starting his sophomore year. While in high school, he worked as a summer intern in Dr. Kyle Happel’s laboratory in the LSUHSC Department of Medicine in the summers of 2006 and 2007.

His project entitled “Ethanol intoxication and CXC chemokine response to S. aureus pneumonia”. In 2008 he participated in the summer internship program funded by the Louisiana Vaccine Center with Dr. Lisa Morici in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center.

Tim’s research with Dr. Morici focused on vaccine discovery and development against aerosol bacterial agents. His summer project was titled “Acute melioidosis and aerosol infections with Burkholderia thailandensis”.

After the summer, he began work in Dr. Vijay John’s lab, where he worked on developing an infection-resistant, biodegradable, controlled delivery method for antibiotics. He learned how to engineer porous bio-films containing various concentrations of polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), polyethylene glycol, or a combination of both using the breath figure method.

He also learned how to perform degradation studies on these bio-films as well as use a SEM to analyze and capture images of the extent of the degradation over an 8 week period.

Tim’s research in Dr. John’s lab will be presented at the 2009 AIChE Annual Meeting in Nashville Tennessee. The title of this project is “Breath Figure Thin Films of Biodegradable Polymers for Controlled Antibiotic Release”.

In Dr. Lisa Morici’s lab, Tim’s work has paid off in many ways. They are submitting a manuscript in June 2009 to Microbial Pathogenesis titled “Differential susceptibility of inbred mouse strains to Burkholderia thailandensis aerosol infection” and Tim is a co-author.

They also presented a poster at the American Society for Microbiology 109th General Meeting in May titled “Modeling acute melioidosis: aerosol infection with B. thailandensis” and Tim was listed as a co-author. Dr. Morici is also submitting a grant proposal this month to the Western Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and using part of Tim’s work in the preliminary data section.