I am a lesbian and I am an associate professor and infectious disease research scientist.//
I am an Associate Professor and infectious disease research scientist studying Lyme disease and mechanisms of blood-borne spread of bacterial pathogens. I trained as a molecular biologist & biochemist during my PhD at McGill University, where I studied an enzyme that replenishes the ends of human chromosomes (telomeres). My 1st postdoc project at the University of Calgary was to study an enzyme important for telomere replication in bacteria that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). This led to a collaboration where I & a postdoc from another lab (Ursula Norman) developed the 1st intravital microscopy-based system for visualizing individual live bacteria in living mice. We used this system to identify the first bacterial vascular adhesion protein (BBK32). My lab at the University of Toronto develops methods to study bacterial bloodborne dissemination mechanisms, including high speed live cell imaging, particle tracking & video-based biophysical analysis. We also study bone loss in B. burgdorferi infection & the effects of metabolic conditions such as obesity & hyperglycemia on susceptibility to & outcomes of B. burgdorferi infection. I stayed in Canada for my postdoc because at the time my partner would not have been able to obtain a longterm visa or greencard to enter the United States & would have had some difficulty traveling with me to Europe. She is the reason I made it in research & we’ve been together for nearly 25 years.