Tiffany Leighton joined the Burrows lab in Sept 2012 after completing her MSc in the Mahoney lab at McMaster. She is the most decorated graduate student speaker ever in the lab, with multiple presentation awards to her credit. Today she applied those skills to successfully defended her PhD thesis, Interaction and Dynamics of the Type IV Pilus Alignment Subcomplex Proteins, PilN and PilO. She showed that these critical components of the type IV pilus machinery are not simply static connectors of the motor and secretin subcomplexes, but have a role in the function of the system. She discovered their stoichiometry and identified new interfaces between them, information that will be important for development of inhibitors. We are grateful to Dr. George O’Toole from Darmouth, who not only read the thesis, but drove to Hamilton, ON from New Hampshire and back to act as her external examiner. Congratulations Tiffany! From top left: Tiffany, Lori, George O’Toole, Lynne Howell.
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