Miss Brianna Jesaveluk
Centre for Biomedical Research
Latest publication: Lactic acid from vaginal microbiota enhances cervicovaginal epithelial barrier integrity by promoting tight junction protein expression
Research ActivitiesI commenced my PhD in 2020 at the Burnet Institute through Monash University. I am particularly interested in the prevention of diseases that are endemic in developing nations, such as HIV, through combining my areas of interest in microbiology, immunology and international development. My project is titled 'the impact of the vaginal environment on epithelial barrier function and HIV susceptibility'.
Approximately half of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections globally occur in women, where the virus establishes infection primarily through the lower female reproductive tract (FRT). There are several factors that influence viral transmission, including effects of the vaginal microbiota (and their acid metabolites) as well female sex hormones on epithelial barrier integrity. My project will determine the impact of the vaginal environment on epithelial barrier function and the implications for HIV susceptibility by investigating the modulation of signalling pathways, gene expression and protein production by estrogen and metabolic products of commensal FRT bacteria.
I have been based at the Burnet Institute since 2018, where I first completed my Bachelor of Science (Honours), with my research project titled 'the antiviral activity of bat APOBEC3 proteins'. Following the completion of my Honours I worked jointly as a research assistant with the Retroviral Biology and Antivirals Laboratory and the Viral Entry and Vaccines Laboratory.