Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

Alexandra Grote

PhD Candidate Phone: (510) 290-4324

New York University Email: alexgrote@nyu.edu

Department of Biology Web: alexgrote.com

Education

Ph.D. New York University 2013- Present

GPA: 4.0

B.A. University of California Berkeley 2007-2011

Major: Integrative Biology GPA: 3.8


Research Experience

Graduate Student June 2014 - Present

Ghedin Lab, Department of Biology, New York University

In the lab of Dr. Elodie Ghedin, I am characterizing the genomic characteristics of filarial parasites in order to elucidate the basis of adaptation of macroparasites to their human hosts. I am currently using dual RNAseq to characterize the endosymbiotic interactions between the filarial parasites and the bacteria Wolbachia. I am also analyzing the newly sequenced genome of Onchocerca volvulus, the causative agent of river blindness, focusing on the evolution of the Y chromosome in certain filarial nematodes.


Research Assistant/ Lab Manager September 2011 - July 2013

Bhaya Lab, Department of Plant Biology, The Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA

Huang Lab, Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Phototaxis Project- I analyzed photoreception and phototaxis in photosynthetic cyanobacteria with Dr. Devaki Bhaya. I characterized and quantified the phototactic response of Synechococcus OSB’, an environmentally isolated thermophilic cyanobacteria, to light intensity as well as wavelength.

Polyphosphate Kinase Project- This project involved the study of how Synechococcus OS-B′ synthesizes and breaks down polyphosphate, a key storage compound in many prokaryotes. I confirmed the creation a mutant in the polyphosphate kinase (ppk), an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of polyphosphate, and characterized its phenotype with respect to ppk expression.

Chiral Expansion in E. coli Project- I studied the molecular and cellular basis for bacterial colony organization with Professor K.C. Huang, developing an assay with which to visualize the difference in chiral growth and colony formation with respect to certain types of mutations in cell wall synthesis machinery.

Research Technician January 2009 - September 2011

Bruns Lab, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California Berkeley

Point Reyes National Seashore Mycoblitz- I worked with Professor Thomas Bruns to characterize the fungal diversity as part of the Point Reyes Mycoblitz. I extracted DNA from fungal samples and sequence the ITS region of DNA, making use of the high degree of variation in this sequence to create phylogenetic trees of the major genera present. I was also in charge of curating fungal specimens for the Jepson Herbarium.

Ectomycorrhizal Associations- I assisted in a study on the associations between the Pyrola aphylla and ectomycorrhizal fungi, performing stable isotope analysis using mass spectrometry to track the transfer of carbon and nitrogen between plant roots and fungi.

Awards and Fellowships

2018-2019 F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

2018-2019 Dean's Dissertation Fellowship

2016-2018 T32 Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award, New York University School of Medicine

2017 Young Investigator Award, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

2017 Gladys Mateyko Research Award, New York University, Department of Biology

2017 The Outstanding Teaching Award, New York University, College of Arts and Science

2017 Dean’s Travel Grant for the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution Annual Meeting

2016 Travel Award from the Evolutionary Genomics of Sex Conference, Tempe, AZ

2016 Best Poster Award from the conference “Anthelmintics: Discovery to Resistance”, San Diego, CA

2015 Best Poster Award from NYU Biology Departmental Retreat

2015 NYU Eugene Bell Research Award for passing the Thesis Proposal Exam with Distinction

2009 Dean’s List at UC Berkeley

Publications

1. Grote A, Caffrey CR, Rebello KM, Smith D, Dalton JP, Lustigman S. Cysteine proteases during larval migration and development of helminths in their final host. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Aug 23;12(8):e0005919.

2. Lustigman S, Grote A, Ghedin E. The role of 'omics' in the quest to eliminate human filariasis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Apr 20;11(4):e0005464.

3. Grote A, Voronin D, Ding T, Twaddle A, Unnasch TR, Lustigman S, Ghedin E. Defining Brugia malayi and Wolbachia symbiosis by stage-specific dual RNA-seq. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Mar 30;11(3):e0005357.

4. Grote A, Lustigman S, Ghedin E. Lessons from the genomes and transcriptomes of filarial nematodes. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2017 Jul;215:23-29.

5. Bennuru S, Cotton JA, Ribeiro JM, Grote A, Harsha B, Holroyd N, Mhashilkar A, Molina DM, Randall AZ, Shandling AD, Unnasch TR, Ghedin E, Berriman M, Lustigman S, Nutman TB. Stage-Specific Transcriptome and Proteome Analyses of the Filarial Parasite Onchocerca volvulus and Its Wolbachia Endosymbiont. MBio. 2016 Nov 23;7(6). pii: e02028-16.

6. Cotton JA, Bennuru S, Grote A, Harsha B, Tracey A, Beech R, Doyle SR, Dunn M, Hotopp JC, Holroyd N, Kikuchi T, Lambert O, Mhashilkar A, Mutowo P, Nursimulu N, Ribeiro JM, Rogers MB, Stanley E, Swapna LS, Tsai IJ, Unnasch TR, Voronin D, Parkinson J, Nutman TB, Ghedin E, Berriman M, Lustigman S. The genome of Onchocerca volvulus, agent of river blindness. Nat Microbiol. 2016 Nov 21;2:16216.

7. Gomez-Garcia MR, Fazeli F, Grote A, Grossman AR, Bhaya D. Role of polyphosphate in thermophilic Synechococcus sp. from microbial mats. J Bacteriol. 2013 Aug; 195(15):3309-19.

Contributions to Conferences

Oral Presentations:

“Understanding the symbiosis between parasitic worms and bacteria.” Metropolitan Society for Natural Historians, New York, NY. February 2018. (Invited Talk)

“Determining the mechanisms of endosymbiosis between filarial nematodes and Wolbachia.” American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD. November 2017.

“Searching for metabolic choke points to disrupt the Brugia malayi / Wolbachia symbiosis” NYC Parasitology Meeting II, New York, NY. October 2017.

“Defining metabolic choke points involved in the Brugia malayi/ Wolbachia symbiosis.” Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminths XI, Hydra, Greece, September 2017.

“Defining Brugia malayi and Wolbachia symbiosis by stage-specific dual RNA-seq.” Molecular Helminthology, Cape Cod, MA. March 2017.

“Filarial genomes and transcriptomes: lessons and opportunities.” NYC Parasitology Meeting, New York, NY. September 2016.

“Molecular mechanisms of filarial endosymbiosis.” New York Area Worm Meeting, New York, NY. January 2015.

Poster Presentations:

A. Grote, S. Lustigman, E. Ghedin. “Investigating mechanisms of filarial endosymbiosis.” Society for Microbiology and Evolution Annual Meeting, Austin, TX. June 2017.

A. Grote, S. Lustigman, E. Ghedin. Sex chromosome evolution in filarial nematodes.” Evolutionary Genomics of Sex Conference, Tempe, AZ. November 2016.

A. Grote, S. Lustigman, E. Ghedin. “Investigating mechanisms of filarial endosymbiosis.” Anthelmintics: from Discovery to Resistance in San Diego, CA. February 2016.

A. Grote, S. Lustigman, E. Ghedin. “First look into the newly sequenced Onchocerca volvulus transcriptome.” Gordon Conference on Tropical Infectious Disease in Galveston, TX. March 2015.

A. Grote, D. Voronin, S. Lustigman, E. Ghedin. “Molecular mechanisms of filarial endosymbiosis.” American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. November 2014.

A. Grote, E. Sedivy, R. Chau, K.C. Huang, D. Bhaya. "Characterizing Phototaxis of Thermophilic Synechococcus sp." American Society of Microbiology Annual meeting, 2012.

Teaching Experience

2014 – Teaching Assistant for Principles of Biology

2015, 2016, 2017- Teaching Assistant for Molecular and Cellular Biology

2017- Course Administrator for Molecular and Cellular Biology

2018- Guest lecture for Essentials of Public Health Biology


Professional Memberships and Other Experiences

Member, New York Academy of Sciences

Member, American Society of Parasitology

Member, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Member, Society of Microbiology and Evolution

Member, Graduate Women in Science (GWinS), New York University

Mentor, Research Experiences for Teachers, National Science Foundation, 2013

Mentor, Summer Internship Program, The Carnegie Institute for Science, 2012