Kassandra Zaila '15

Kassandra Zaila ’15 was the lead author of an article published last week in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology. Hannah Ellerbrock ’15 and Wei-Jen Chang, the Sidney Wertimer Associate Professor for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring, were co-authors.

Zaila’s research leading to the findings presented in “Diversity and universality of endosymbiotic Rickettsia in the fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis” was supported by the Casstevens Family Fund.

The paper presents the results of a study to determine whether Candidatus Megaira, an endosymbiotic rickettsial bacteria found in diverse habitats and a wide range of eukaryotic hosts, is present in most, if not all, isolates of the parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

Zaila is currently teaching biology in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She will start medical school in the fall.

Ellerbrock is a research and development lab technician for Organovo, Inc. The San Diego company uses bioprinting technology to create functional human tissue for medical research and therapeutic use.

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