Honors Theses


Yvonne Sun, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogen with the capability of causing severe illness in individuals who consume contaminated foods. Many foods have been found to harbor the bacterium, but dairy products, produce, and other prepackaged foods are particularly susceptible to contamination. Contaminated foods are exposed to a variety of environmental conditions during packaging, processing, consumption, and digestion, all of which play an essential role in modulating the survival and pathogenesis of L. monocytogenes. Conditions of particular interest include cold storage, presence of food additives, and activity of antimicrobial enzymes such as lysozyme. My honors thesis research has focused on elucidating how L. monocytogenes fitness is regulated by these and other conditions and how the transcription factor CodY is involved in these processes. Most notably, our results suggest that CodY is involved in L. monocytogenes susceptibility to lysozyme. Our findings contribute to our understanding of how this dangerous pathogen responds to conditions relevant during transmission and infection.

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Undergraduate research