B.S., Biology from University of
Wisconsin-Stevens Point - 2000M.S., Clinical Microbiology from
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse - 2003Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology
from Medical College of Wisconsin, Wauwatosa - 2009Postdoctoral Research - Uniformed
Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, MD - 2012
I grew up in rural central Wisconsin, and my heart is there still. I love being outdoors, ranging from gardening
to hiking mountains (the one aspect Wisconsin lacks). I am a Kukkiwon-certified, 6th-Dan
Black Belt in Jidokwon Taekwondo, and regularly teach self-defense classes and Taekwondo
classes. I am also extremely energetic,
even without my coffee. For those who
have taken StrengthsQuest analysis of your personality, I am one of the very
rare “Woo” personalities in Science. I
am a Sci-Fi geek, a science nerd, and a rabid Packer fan. I originally focused on becoming a
veterinarian because of my farming-associated background, but after a set of
severe illnesses in college caused by microbes, I became very curious about
what had made me so ill, igniting my interest in microbiology. My passion is microbiology, but also showing
how complex, intertwined, and awe-inspiring Biology really is.
My main research focus is to determine how Chlamydia can
survive in mammalian host cells through small GTPase recruitment. Chlamydia trachomatis causes blindness
world-wide and is more commonly known in the U.S. to be the leading cause of
bacterial sexually-transmitted infections (STI). Chlamydia replicates by
infecting mammalian cells and directing traffic of nutrients directly to the
membrane-bound vesicle where the bacteria replicate, called the Chlamydial
Inclusion. Previous research suggests that many of these trafficking and
distribution orders come from small GTPases, a type of cellular protein switch
which direct cellular components. Small GTPases such as RhoA and specific Rab
proteins are shown to re-distribute to the Chlamydial Inclusion through an
unknown mechanism. My research investigates the mechanism by which RhoA and
possibly other small GTPases interact with the Chlamydial inclusion. I am
currently also researching vitamin availability in Chlamydial infections. This research involves aspects of Biochemistry,
Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Microbiology.
I regularly conduct research in microbiology with interested
and dedicated students. I also welcome the opportunity to work with students on
aspects of microbial detection, microbial ecology, bacterial toxins, growth,
metabolism, and coral microbial disease research. Very little prior experience is necessary - I
train you, and work with you to develop a project that you will love to work
Henkel, J.S., Tepp, W.H., Przedpelski, A., Fritz,
R.B., Johnson, E.A., and Barbieri, J.T. Subunit Vaccine Efficacy against
Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtypes. 2011. Vaccine. Aug 9. PMID: 21839134
Henkel J.S., Baldwin M.R., Barbieri J.T. Toxins from bacteria. EXS. 2010;100:1-29. Review.
Henkel, J.S., Jacobson, M., Tepp, W., Pier, C.,
Johnson, E.A., Barbieri, J.T. Catalytic Properties of Botulinum neurotoxins
subtypes A3 and A4. Biochemistry.
Fang H, Luo W, Henkel J, Barbieri J, Green N. 2006. A
yeast assay probes the interaction between botulinum neurotoxin serotype B and
its SNARE substrate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. May2;103(18):6958-63.
Meece J.K., Henkel J.S., Glaser L., Reed K.D. 2003.
Mosquito surveillance for West Nile virus in southeastern Wisconsin-2002. Clin
Med Res. Jan;1(1):37-42.
Reed K.D., Meece J.K., Henkel J.S., Shukla S.K. 2003.
Birds, migration and emerging zoonoses: West Nile virus, Lyme disease,
Influenza A and enteropathogens. Clin Med Res. Jan;1(1):5-12.