Postdoc Dr. Katrina Velle awarded a NIH F32 fellowship

Katrina Velle was awarded an F32 from the NIH to fund her research: “Defining actin-based mechanisms driving basic cell functions and pathogenic behaviors in Naegleria.”

While the “brain eating amoeba” Naegleria fowleri has a ~95% fatality rate, we have little understanding of the mechanisms underlying its basic cell biology or pathogenesis. This proposal will close this gap in understanding by identifying the actin-based molecular mechanisms driving cell motility, division, and contractile vacuole function. This work is relevant to NIH’s mission, as it will identify the molecular basis of Naegleria pathogenesis, thereby revealing much needed potential drug targets.