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Irina Velsko

Irina Velsko

Ph.D. student

Education

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, expected graduation date June 2015: University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • B.A., Biology, June 2010: University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Research Experience

Dissertation Research (June 2011-present)

Department of Oral Biology, University of Florida
Mentor: Dr. Lakshmyya Kesavalu
  • In vivo mouse infection model to determine a causative association between periodontal disease and atherosclerosis
  • Growing oral anaerobes and orally infecting mice
  • Determining extent of periodontal disease, bacteremia and atherosclerosis in infected mice
  • Lab techniques used: anaerobic bacterial cultivation, mouse oral infection, PCR, H&E staining, histology of periodontium, bone morphometry, fluorescence in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, atherosclerotic plaque morphometry, RT-PCR

Graduate Student Summer Intern (June-August 2010)

Biosciences and Biotechnology Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Research Advisor: Dr. Michael Thelen
  • Phage display to assign function to hypothetical proteins from acid mine drainage bacteria
  • Selecting for zinc proteases by catalytic elution

Undergraduate Research Assistant (July 2008-June 2010)

Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, UC Santa Barbara
Research advisor: Dr. David Low
  • Understanding the mechanism of contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI)
  • Genetically determining binding sites on two interacting proteins
  • Lab techniques used: western blot, immunofluorescence, sequence analysis, microbiological techniques
  • Training a summer intern in lab techniques
  • Writing research proposal, creating presentations and posters

Posters/Presentations

1. Irina Velsko. Detection of CdiA in Escherichia coli. 2009 Undergraduate Research Colloquium, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA. 14 May 2009.

2. Irina Velsko. Creating AcrB mutants that confer resistance to CDI in E. coli. 2010.  UCSB College of Creative Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Reception, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA. 20 February 2010.

3. Irina Velsko. Creating AcrB mutants that confer resistance to CDI in E. coli. 2010. Undergraduate Research Colloquium, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA. 13 May 2010

Published Abstracts

  1. AADR Annual Meeting, March 2012.  I. Velsko, M. Rivera, S. Chukkapalli, J-Y. Lee, H. Chen, I. Bhattacharyya, A. Lucas, and L. Kesavalu.  Porphyromonas gingivalis infection-induced Oral and Systemic Changes in ApoEnull mice.
  2. AADR Annual Meeting, March 2012.  S. Chukkapalli, M. Rivera, I. Velsko, J-Y. Lee, H. Chen, I. Bhattacharyya, A. Lucas, and L. Kesavalu.  Treponema denticola induced bacteremia, DNA detection, and atherosclerosis in ApoEnull Mice.
  3. AADR Annual Meeting, March 2012. M. Rivera, J-Y Lee, S. Chukkapalli, I. Velsko, I. Bhattacharyya, L.S. Holliday, L. Kesavalu.  Bis-enoxacin Inhibited Alveolar Bone Loss and Gingival Inflammation in Rats.
  4. ASM General Meeting, June 2012. I. Velsko, M. Rivera, S. Chukkapalli, J-Y. Lee, H. Chen, I. Bhattacharyya, A. Lucas, and L. Kesavalu. Fusobacterium nucleatum infection-induced periodontal disease and atherosclerosis in ApoEnull mice.
  5. IADR Annual Meeting, June 2012. M. Rivera, S. Chukkapalli, I. Velsko, J-Y. Lee, H. Chen, I. Bhattacharyya, A. Lucas, and L. Kesavalu.  Tanerella forsythia infection-induced periodontal disease and atherosclerosis in ApoEnull mice.

Peer-reviewed Articles

  1. Hernandes, R. T., I. Velsko, S. C. F. Sampaio, W. P. Elias, R. M. Robins-Browne, T. A. T. Gomes, J. A. Giron. 2011. Fimbral Adhesions Produced by Atypical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Strains. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(23): 8391-8399.

Research interests

  • Microbiology
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Phage therapy

Mentoring Experience

  • Jan 2012-present: Undergraduate student Catherine Busatto (pre-medical)

Awards/Honors

  • 2011-2013 NIH T90 DE021990
  • 2010-2012 UFL Grinter Award
  • 2009 NSF-Research Experiences for Undergraduates
  • 2009 UCSB College of Creative Studies (CCS) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
  • 2009 UCSB Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Grant
  • 2008 UCSB Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Grant

Language experience

  • 5 years of German
  • 2 years of Russian
  • 1 year of Arabic