Advisors: Drs. Xiuping Jiang and Angela Fraser
David’s project focuses on investigating the recovery of noroviruses from soft surfaces such as carpets, as well as the efficacy of disinfection methods. He has been using the surrogate viruses, FCV and MNV, with cell line plaque assays and RT-PCR for detection. He is currently working towards transitioning from an M.S. to a Ph.D. degree program.
David explained that before coming to Clemson a year ago, all of his experiences were with bacteria. He has since learned how to perform RT-PCR, plaque assays, cell culture, and how to concentrate viruses in a sample. A neat offshoot of the project has had him learning about electrokinetic potentials, which measure a surface and provide information about the isoelectric point of that material. This knowledge can then be used in the design of elution buffers to increase yields.
“Before I came to Clemson my knowledge of norovirus was very limited, and I wanted to do virology. I also got norovirus from my girlfriend not long into coming to Clemson, and it gave me firsthand experience of what we are dealing with. Working on a national project is really nice, and knowing that I get to work with and collaborate with a lot of people, so that in the future, I will have more contacts. Working alongside other scientists and collaborating is always better.”
According to David, receiving NoroCORE support has given him more knowledge of working with noroviruses and viruses in general, which will give him more ideas for future research projects, and the NoroCORE funding will let him complete his project more quickly. David is currently a medical service officer in the NC National Guard, and after graduation, he is thinking of joining the military’s microbiology program, or possibly going into industry, as his project has ties with Proctor and Gamble.
“The grant has been a real blessing. I was urged to apply, and it was a real honor, and I hope to do more research in the field.”