The behavior of genes that potentially lead to infection and disease in humans — particularly Lyme disease — has long fascinated Christian Eggers, PhD, professor of microbiology. And he shares his passion for research with the many students he’s mentored since joining Quinnipiac’s faculty more than 13 years ago.
Eggers teaches several courses including microbiology, pathogenic microbiology and epidemiology. He also oversees the microbiology seminar and supervises undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with him on his research.
“We study what B. burgdorferi does when it enters a human host and causes Lyme disease, as well as the evolutionary or genetic mechanisms that make it the bacterium it is… and allow it to build its genome and survive in a host,” he said.
Some of his students have been listed as co-authors on papers he wrote that were published in academic journals, such as Pathogens & Disease and Molecular Microbiology. Others have presented posters at national conferences hosted by the American Society of Microbiology and the 2016 Gordon Research Conference on the Biology of Spirochetes.
He likened his teaching philosophy to the role that parents play. “We know how important modeling is for parents. I feel it is important for a professor to engage with a student in the same way. If I can show students that I’m reading literature, thinking about a problem, making mistakes and rectifying them, they will learn what kinds of things lead to solutions or how critical thinking can be applied to solve problems,” he explained.
Becoming familiar with research methods and getting experience in the lab is especially important for students going on to graduate education and medical school, he noted.
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