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Erika Orner

Erika Orner

B.S., 2013, Pathobiology and Veterinary Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
Advisor: Bettina Fries
Email: Erika.Orner@stonybrook.edu

Research Interests

My major interest is in translational research in infectious disease. Currently I am working in Dr. Bettina Fries’ lab where I am investigating how the heterogeneity of aging within the fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida glabrata confers to varying levels of resistance within the human host. Populations of pathogens within and among patients is far from homogenous, so by studying the isolates from diseased patients and the selection pressures they encounter, we gain a better understanding of what makes them pathogenic and resistant to the immune system and antifungals. Using this information, we hope to devise better antifungals that target specific virulence factors.

Honors and Awards

National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, T32AI007539 fellowship, 2016.

Young Investigator Award, 10th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis. March 26-30, 2017, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

Stony Brook Scholars in Biomedical Sciences Trainee, 2017 - 2018

Teresa Haire Memorial Award, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Stony Brook University, October 2017

Medical Mycology Society of the Americas Travel Award to attend the 2018 American Society for Microbiology Microbe meeting, June 7-11, Atlanta, GA.

Distinguished Service Award, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Stony Brook University, October 2018.

Presentations

Orner, E.P., and Fries, B. (2107). Serial Passaging Provides Insight into Host-Pathogen Interactions and the Direct Effect on Replicative Life Span and Fitness. 10th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis. March 26-30, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

Orner, E.P., Zhang, P., Jo, M.C., Qin. L., and Fries, B.C. (2018). Microfluidics as a New Tool to Access Lifespan and Age-related Traits of Cryptococcus neoformans. 2018 American Society for Microbiology Microbe meeting, June 7-11, Atlanta, GA.

Publications

Colombo, A.C., Rella, A., Normile, T., Joffe, L.S., Tavares, P.M., Araujo, Glauber R. de S., Frases, S., Orner, E.P., Farmoud, A.M., Fries, B.C., Sheridan B., Nimrichter, L., Roodrigues, M.L., and Del Poeta, M. (2019). Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannan and sterylglucoside are required for host protection in an animal vaccination model. mBio 10(2): e02909-18.

Bhattacharya, S., Holowka, T., Orner, E.P., and Fries, B.C. (2019). Gene duplication associated with increased fluconazole tolerance in Candida auris cells of advanced generational age. Science Reports 9(1): 5052.

Bouklas, T., Alonso-Crisostomo, L. Szekely, T. Jr., Diago-Navarro, E., Orner, E.P., Smith, K., Munshi M.A., Del Poeta, M., Balazsi, G., and Fries, B.C. (2017). Generational distribution of a Candida glabrata population: Resilient old cells prevail, while younger cells dominate in the vulnerable host. PLoS Pathogens 13(5): e1006355.

Jain, N., Bouklas, T., Gupta, A., Varshney, A.K., Orner, E.P., and Fries, B.C. (2015). ALL2, a homologue of ALL1, has a distinct role in regulating pH homeostasis in the pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Infection and Immunity 84(2): 439-451. PMID: 26597983

Deng, J., Orner, E.P., Chau, J.F., Anderson, E.M., Kadilak, A.L., Rubinstein, R.L., Bouchillon, G.M., Goodwin, R.A., Gage, D.J., and Shor, L.M.. (2015). Synergistic effects of soil microstructure and bacterial EPS on drying rate in emulated soil micromodels. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 83:116-124.

Zhang, Y., Rowehl, L., Krumsiek, J.M., Orner, E.P., Shaikh, N., Tarr, P.I., Sodergren, E., Weinstock, G.M., Boedeker, E.C., Xiong, X., Parkinson, J., Frank, D.N., Li, E., and Gathungu, G. (2015). Identification of candidate adherent-invasive E. coli signature transcripts by genomic/transcriptomic analysis. PLoS One 10(6):e0130902. PMID: 26218289.