Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Neeraja Sripada L&S Biological Sciences

Host Responses to Rectal C. trachomatis Infections in Fijian Women

Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the leading cause of bacterial sexually transmitted infections with over 131 million new cases occurring globally each year. This is due in part to unchecked transmission because ~50% of males and ~80% of females are asymptomatic and remain untreated. Recently, rectal Ct infections have been shown to be significantly more common than previously thought, especially among women. Little is known about rectal Ct infections in women and the immune responses to it that may drive or prevent infection. My project will therefore aim to elucidate the Ct mechanisms of adaptation to the rectal site in Fijian women, a population which is understudied despite having some of the highest rates of Ct in the world. I will also explore the role that the Ct genomic strain type may play in host immune responses. This study will help us form a greater understanding of host-pathogen interactions in rectal Ct infections and may lead to the discovery of novel targets for vaccine development and treatment strategies.

Message To Sponsor

I am extremely grateful for my donor’s kind support of my project. I have always been passionate about advancing our understanding of global women’s health issues, so the opportunity to dedicate my summer to research related to this topic is one that I do not take lightly. Thank you so much for your generosity and for enabling me to pursue my passion through research!
Profile image of Neeraja Sripada
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Deborah Dean
Sponsor: Leadership
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