Mark Kreutzberger

Started on September, 2018
Supervision: Prof. Edward Egelman

Overview: I am a Phd student in Biophysics. I joined the lab in 2018 after an undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an additional year as a research technician at Johns Hopkins University. Currently, I am working structural studies of bacterial flagellar filaments, nanotube assemblies from small peptides, as well as bacterial pili.

Background: Undergraduate degree in chemistry from UNCW. As an undergraduate I did research on thermodynamic properities of lipid membranes and interactions of antimicrobial peptides with membranes. Prior to graduate school I spent a year as a research technician at Johns Hopkins University working on biophysical and biochemical assays focused on bacterial outer membrane protein folding into lipid membranes.

Research Focus: Currently, I am working structural studies of bacterial flagellar filaments. Flagellar filaments function as the propellar of the bacterial flagellum. These filaments are assembled by tens of thousands of copies of subunits called flagellins. The C. jejuni flagellin is unique compared to those of other pathogens, such as E. coli, in that it is not recognized by TLR5 due to mutations in amino acid sequence of flagellin N-terminal domain D1. These mutations should be destabilizing to the C. jejuni flagellar filament. However, we have been able to show that this flagellar filament has unique stabilizing interactions between adjacent flagellins on the oustide of the filament as well as stabilizing effects of extensive glycosylation. I am continuing my research on flagellar filaments through follow up studies with C. jejuni as well as other bacteria.

Career Goals: After my PhD, I hope to stay in academia and do a postdoc in a laboratory that will help me continue to master my structural, biochemical, and biophysical research skills in tackling questions relating to assmbly of macromolecules and infectious diseases.

Publications with our group