The Doctoral Program in Microbiology provides advanced training and education for students with the desire and ability to thrive in a stimulating, research-oriented graduate program leading to careers in science in the academic, governmental, or private sectors.
Cydney Johnson, PhD Student, Duerkop Lab
The Duerkop lab is interested in the biology of Enterococcus and the phages that infect these bacteria through understanding the mechanisms of phage infection and host response. Cydney is working on two phage-focused projects. The first is understanding the co-evolution of E. faecalis and a lytic phage through genetics. In the second project, she is working on identifying a novel anti-phage system located on a mobile E. faecalis plasmid.
Cydney’s previous publication from the Duerkop lab characterized a diverse library of phages and the fitness trade-offs of phage resistance in E. faecalis, and laid the groundwork for the two projects she currently works on. She’s presented at multiple conferences and seminars, and was also able to advocate for microbiology research funding on Capitol Hill through ASM’s Hill Day. During this event, Cydney talked to congresspeople about her projects and gave them a glimpse into the work that is done thanks to their budget allocations. She’s also been involved with a science summer camp for middle schoolers hosted on the Anschutz campus, and they by far have the most opinions regarding her research.
Cydney’s best advice to an incoming graduate student: go for it. Apply for that award or opportunity that you might not think you have a great shot at. Do the experiment that would push you to learn a new technique. Grad school is your oyster; you are in a position of opportunity so take advantage of all it has to offer.