Illuminating the inner-workings of bacterial and viral pathogens by cryo-electron microscopy

Vicky Pappas

Position title: Biophysics Graduate Student


Vicky received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is a second year UW-Madison Biophysics program graduate student and joined the Wright lab in the fall of 2020. Bacterial motility and biofilm formation are important for virulence and survival in multiple bacterial species. She is interested in how flagella structure and motility contribute to biofilm formation in the pathogenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae and other Vibrio spp. She uses cryo-EM, cryo-ET, FIB, CLEM, and other imaging techniques to study biofilms. Vibrio cholerae use a single polar flagellum to swim to a surface and use pili to adhere to said surface during biofilm formation. Structural information about flagella and its individual flagellin subunits will help us better understand the structure/function relationship between flagella, motility, and biofilm formation.