Dr. Özlem Yilmaz' Laboratory
Oral Health Sciences Department
Bridgette Wellslager, PhD Student
Bridgette Wellslager attended the University of South Carolina’s Honors College in order to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences with a Minor in History and Public Health. During her time at the university, she worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Minsub Shim’s laboratory, and was a recipient of the SURF grant for her sophomore and junior years.
Prior to her graduation, she also performed an epidemiological study examining the changes in the prevalence of influenza vaccinations following the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic from 2008 to 2010, and presented her findings in the 2017 Discovery Day at USC. She was awarded Second Place for her efforts, and graduated with honors from the university in the summer of 2017.
In the fall of 2018, Bridgette was accepted into the PhD program for Biomedical Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. She then joined Dr. Özlem Yilmaz’ laboratory in the Department of Oral Health Sciences, and is currently the recipient of the T32 Training Grant. Bridgette is currently studying the key molecular mechanisms that oral pathogens use to ensure chronic pathogen survival in human mucosal cells. In particular, she is studying the selective autophagy mechanisms of opportunistic oral pathogens in host epithelial cells.