Welcome to the website of Dr. Wendy Trzyna, professor of Microbiology at Marshall University. The focus of our research is on Acanthamoeba, and in particular their relationship to the environment and their unique interactions with other microbes. Hundreds of unique isolates across the Acanthamoeba genus inhabit a wide range of environments, including some with fairly extreme conditions. Several ongoing studies in our lab explore how these microbes can be used to investigate the effect of environmental stressors on single cells. In another project, Acanthamoeba is proving to be a useful model system for investigating the pathogenic potential of various strains of bacteria. Overall, our research aims to better understand the basis of this diversity using an array of tools and approaches, and develop practical methods to assess the effects of environmental contaminants on growing and dividing cells.

Acanthamoeba images from the Trzyna lab