Genetics and Biochemistry
Congratulations to Our Recent Graduate
Amrita Koushik was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry on August 9, 2013. Dr. Koushik completed her dissertation research in the laboratory of Dr. Lesly Temesvari. Her work focused on phosphoinositide-based signaling in Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent of amoebic dysentery. Dr. Koushik was the first to show that PI(4,5)P2 localizes to rafts in E. histolytica. She also demonstrated that the submembrane localization of and signaling from PI(4,5)P2 is cholesterol-dependent. Cholesterol enhances E. histolytica infectivity; therefore, these data provide important insight into virulence. During her tenure at Clemson, she presented her findings at 5 international conferences and published a first-author manuscript describing the results. She was a contributing author on two additional manuscripts. During her tenure at Clemson, Dr. Koushik obtained several travel awards and a mini-grant from the national Sigma Xi Grant-In-Aid-of-Research (GIAR) program. She was chosen as one of 50 students and post-docs worldwide to participate at the MBL-USP-FAPESP Biology of Parasitism Course in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has begun her post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Norma Andrews at the University of Maryland.