P. Todd Benziger
Advisor: Dr. David Thanassi
B.A., Biology, Hartwick College
As a student in the MGM program, I have joined the lab of Dr. David Thanassi because of my interest for the infectious agent Francisella. Francisella is an intracellular gram negative bacteria responsible for the zoonotic disease tularemia. The focus of my research is to identify virulence factors secreted by Francisella during infection, their function, and route of transport. I am also interested in the bacteria's production of outer membrane vesicles during infection and their role in pathogenesis. When not in lab, I enjoy fishing and surfing here on the island as well as exploring new craft beers with friends.
Van Skike, N.D., Minkah, N.K., Hogan, C.H., Wu, G., Benziger, P.T., Oldenburg, D.G., Kara, M., Kim-Holzapfel, D.M., White, D.W., Tibbetts, S.A., French, J.B., and Krug, L.T. 2018. Viral FGARAT ORF75A promotes early events in lytic infection and gammaherpesvirus pathogeneisis in mice. PLoS Pathogens 14(2):e1006843.
Minkah, N.K.*,Van Skike, N.*, Wu, G., Benziger, P.T., Kara, M., Tibbetts, S.A., Kim-Holzapfel, D., French, J.B., Oldenburg, D.G., White, D.W., and Krug, L.T. Absence of ORF75A, a Member of the Gammaherpesvirus FGARAT Family, Reduces the Specific Infectivity of MHV68 Particles and Impairs Acute Replication and Reactivation from Latency in the Host. 17th University of Pennsylvania Herpesvirus Symposium. June 23, 2017. *Equal contribution.
Minkah, N.K.*,Van Skike, N.*, Wu, G., Benziger, P.T., Kara, M., Tibbetts, S.A., Kim-Holzapfel, D., French, J.B., Oldenburg, D.G., White, D.W., and Krug, L.T. Absence of the Viral FGARAT ORF75A Reduces the Specific Infectivity of Particles and Impairs Replication and Dissemination of Murine Gammaherpesvirus in vivo. 36th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology, June 24-28, 2017. *Equal contribution.