Date of Award

Winter 12-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type

Directed Research Project


Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal of the human skin and also a major human pathogen. Currently, there has been no successful vaccine despite many approaches over the last two decades. S. aureus α-hemolysin (Hla), a potent cytotoxin, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of S. aureus diseases, through the activation of its receptor, ADAM10. We utilized three distinct Hla mutants with differing structural and ADAM10 binding properties to examine for vaccine efficacy. Our studies have demonstrated immunization with each vaccine candidate antigens provided significant protection against S. aureus skin infection yet elicited distinguishable immune responses. We have also generated a mouse red blood cell model that will allow visualization of the Hla-ADAM10 complex in its native conformation for the first time through advanced microscopy techniques.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Dr. Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg

Committee Members

Dr. Regina Clemens, Dr. Ian Duncan