Dr. Benfang Lei is an associate professor here at Montana State University in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, who has previously collaborated with my previous post-doc advisor, Dr. Carl Yeoman. As a lab member at the time, I consulted with Dr. Lei about the whole-genome shotgun sequencing that his lab group had performed on several Streptococcus pyogenes isolates. S. pyogenes is pathogenic in humans and, among other symptoms, causes fever for which it is named. Some of Dr. Lei’s isolates were much more virulent than others, and his study was to identify differences in the genome that would account for this. I helped perform some of the genome processing and analysis, and am happy to be a small part of such an interesting study.
Wenchao, Feng, Dylan Minor, Mengyao Liu, Jinquan Li, Suzanne Ishaq, Carl Yeoman, and Benfang Lei. 2016. Null Mutations of Group A Streptococcus Orphan Kinase RocA: Selection in Mouse Infection and Comparison with CovS Mutations in Alteration of in vitro and in vivo Protease SpeB Expression and Virulence. Infection and Immunity.