McNulty Fellow Sarah Muche graduated last weekend with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Art. She was a member of the McNulty Program community for two years, and conducted research in the laboratory of biologist Shaan Bhatt, Ph.D. During that time, her work focused on how the gastrointestinal pathogen Escherichia coli (EPEC) is genetically encoded to colonize and cause disease, essentially becoming a molecular syringe that enables the injection of toxic proteins into host cells. She presented her research at the NorthEastern Microbiologists: Physiology, Ecology, Taxonomy (NEMPET) Conference in Blue Mountain Lake, NY in both 2017 and 2018, and she has plans to return to make an updated presentation this summer as well. She has also contributed to the publication of two papers about her work, The Tip of the Iceberg: On the Roles of Regulatory Small RNAs in the Virulence of Enterohemorrhagic and Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology and Hfq and Three Hfq-dependent sRNAs–MgrR, RyhB and McaS–Coregulate the Locus of Enterocyte Effacement in Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli in Oxford FEMS.
While Sarah was at SJU, she served as a Supplemental Instruction Leader in the Biology Department, and completed a departmental honors thesis. She participated in the Institute of Clinical Bioethics Health Promoter program, and completed weekly service by leading health classes at West Catholic and volunteering at Mercy Ambulatory Center. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honors Society, and the Sigma Zeta mathematics and science honor society. She also served on the McNulty Program’s Student Leadership Committee. She was awarded an SJU Medical Alumni Scholarship, and has previously been the recipient an SJU Gender Studies Department Trailblazer Award, which is given by the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice in recognition of female undergraduates who have excelled in a major that has not traditionally attracted large numbers of women.
After graduation, Sarah will be working as a Medical Scribe in the Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology Departments at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. We wish you much luck, Sarah!! Don’t be a stranger!