“It has been a real pleasure to have had Andrea working in my lab over the past four years,” says Herr, a UC associate professor of pediatrics and a Cincinnati Children’s researcher. “She has certainly developed into an outstanding scientist, able to design and conduct complicated biophysical experiments and generate high-quality data. She has been studying how the small basic protein from S. epidermidis cooperates with Aap, an important protein found on the bacterial surface, to create strong attachments between the bacteria in a biofilm. Biofilms are specialized colonies of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics or immune responses, so understanding how they form is critical for the development of novel therapeutics.
“I expect that her future work will have a major impact on the scientific community, likely combining rigorous biophysical analyses with medically relevant work at the interface of infectious disease and immunology,” says Herr.
Ori has made scholarly presentations in 2018 concerning her research at the 32nd Annual Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics, the Ohio Physiology Society and the University of Cincinnati Research Symposium.
“Andrea had many options when it came to choosing a school for her undergraduate education,” says Menon. “UC’s Medical Sciences Program attracted her because of the high value we place on individualized student experience and growth. Andrea was interested both in the hard sciences as well as in languages.
“She spent a summer at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, working on important molecular mechanisms in bacteria, while at the same time having an immersive language experience as she travelled through France,” says Menon. “Her success is due to many factors that came together: her high intelligence, curiosity, work ethic, sense of adventure, excellent mentoring by Dr. Herr and his former graduate student Alexander Yarawsky, and an exemplary collaboration across UC between the Colleges of Medicine, Arts & Sciences, the Honors Program and UC International. She has blossomed at UC, and we all wish her the best.”
Ori also spent six weeks in UC’s French Immersion program working with Anne-Marie Jézéquel, PhD, associate professor educator of French in the UC Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures. Ori will graduate with honors in her French program.
“Andrea is a perfect candidate for the Fulbright,” says Jézéquel, who oversaw Ori’s studies at the University of Caen in Normandy, France, during a 2017 summer study abroad. “She is an excellent student. I can appreciate the quality of her French. She really immersed herself, not only in the language, but in the French culture. Andrea travelled extensively in Europe. She is dedicated, smart and curious to explore new venues in different countries.”