Graduate student Adam Bailin successfully defends

Adam Bailin and Tim Yahr

On March 22, 2017, Adam Bailin defended his master's thesis entitled, "Regulation of the type III secretion system by cyclic-di-GMP in Pseudomonas aeruginosa".  Adam appears with his mentor Dr. Tim Yahr. 


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a widely dispersed environmental bacterium that is a prominent cause of opportunistic infections in hospitals. P. aeruginosa infections cause severe disease that can spread rapidly throughout the body and result in death within days or weeks. In the context of cystic fibrosis, P. aeruginosa can chronically infect an individual for years and decades. Chronic infections are a significant source of morbidity and difficult to treat with antibiotics. Cystic fibrosis patients are genetically susceptible to developing chronic lung infections and often succumb to complications arising from P. aeruginosa infection. P. aeruginosa produces a type III secretion system (T3SS) that contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality during acute infections. As the infection becomes chronic, expression of the T3SS decreases. P. aeruginosa produces cyclic-di-GMP, which is a signaling molecule that in the context of infection, determines the phenotype (i.e., acute vs. chronic infection). As cyclic-di-GMP levels increase, the infection phenotype becomes more chronic. Cyclic-di-GMP also regulates T3SS expression. As cyclic-di-GMP levels increase, T3SS expression decreases. How cyclic-di-GMP regulates the T3SS remains to be thoroughly investigated. This study focuses on identifying and determining the relative importance of pathways that mediate cyclic-di-GMP inhibition of the T3SS. Understanding cyclic-di-GMP signaling regulation of T3SS expression, and the transition from acute infection to chronic infection will help develop and inform therapeutic approaches for treatment of P. aeruginosa infections.

About Adam

Adam grew up in Urbandale, Iowa just outside of Des Moines. As someone who always tries to think before he speaks, Adam spent the first 4 and half years of his life in deep thought. As a kid, he liked study geography, learn about history, and take apart old electronics. He spent a lot of time with family in South Dakota, which became his favorite place to visit as a kid.

After high school, Adam enrolled at the University of Iowa, where he studied microbiology. He did undergraduate honors research his senior year in Dr. Tim Yahr’s lab, where he worked with Peter Intile on autoregulation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa RsmAYZ system. After enjoying his research experience senior year, he decided to apply to graduate school. He joined Tim Yahr’s lab where he focused on c-di-GMP signaling regulation of the P. aeruginosa type III secretion system.

Adam will be moving to Irvine, California in mid-April where his wonderful wife Shayma currently works. He has a potential opportunity to join a pharmacology laboratory that studies ocular diseases.

Outside of lab, Adam likes to play video games with his family, drag Shayma on 13-mile-long mountain hikes, and go camping in the desert.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017