Sabrina Abdulla

PhD Candidate


Department of Microbiology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Communications Chair - MCB Graduate Student Association (2017-2018, 2019-2021)
MCB Graduate Student Association - Bake your Research

Salmonella uses genes on the Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI-1) during infection to invade host epithelial cells. HilD is the master regulator of the SPI-1 feed-forward loop that regulates the expression of SPI-1 genes. My research aims to identify if and how the regulation of hilD occurs through the hilD 3'UTR, specifically looking at the role of small RNAs at the hilD 3'UTR.

Working model depicted by pumpkin spice cookies:
Figure 1: During non-SPI-1 inducing conditions, levels of hilD are kept low (indicated by X over HilD protein) during inducing conditions by RNase E degradosome (yellow Pac-Man) and Rho factor (red).

Figure 2: During SPI-1inducing conditions, sRNAs (blue RNAs) bind at the hilD mRNA 3’UTR to stabilize hilD from RNase E and Rho activity. HilD is expressed (orange ovals), which leads to SPI-1 expression.