Current research in my lab focuses on host-pathogen-environment interactions and applies an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate how environmental stress influences the immune system, and health, of animals at the organismal, cellular and molecular levels.
My research interests include non-coding RNA-based mechanisms that regulate of gene expression as it relates to the host-pathogen interactions in wildlife infectious diseases. My current research as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow focuses on microRNA-mediated regulation of the amphibian immune system in response to Frog Virus 3 infection.
My research focuses on validating eDNA methodologies alongside conventional taxonomic identification in local waterways.
2019 Ages Foundation Bursary from rare Charitable Research Reserve ($4,000 – 1st place prize)
I began research for my thesis in Fall 2019. I am working to assemble a transcriptome of North American wood frog skin and isolate transcripts of novel antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). I will be investigating the effects of these AMPs on a panel of microbes, the epizootic amphibian pathogen Frog Virus 3, and cultured frog cells.
As a research technician in the lab, I am involved with a number of projects with primary focus on exploring the interaction between frog cells and Frog Virus 3, and detection of fish/amphibians and amphibian pathogens in eDNA samples.
My research is focused on developing and using environmental DNA methodologies to characterize fish populations in remote Patagonian rivers.
My research is focused on investigating the interaction of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and Xenopus laevis skin by using X. laevis epithelial cell lines and AMPs found in skin secretions and immune cells of X. laevis.
NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (2020)
I joined the lab as an Undergraduate Honours Thesis Student for the 2020-21 school year. I am currently in my final year of the Honours Biology program after previously receiving an Honours Bachelor of Computer Science with a Bioinformatics option.
Wiweka is currently completing their undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and joined the research group as a volunteer in Jan 2020.