As an Undergraduate Research Fellow, Jenna began working in Dr. Nicholas Dickenson’s research lab her freshman year, focusing on infection mechanisms of the bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri. Her work has resulted in three competitive URCO awards, each allowing her to study a different aspect of Shigella infection. Jenna’s most recent work involves two independent projects studying the Shigella type three secretion system ATPase Spa47 and the IpaC/IpgC hetero-protein complex. In 2016, Jenna’s most recent URCO award supported her role in providing the first structure-function analysis of Spa47 and her first scientific publication in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. While her efforts to uncover the mechanisms driving Spa47 activation continue, she is now additionally working to better understand the role of the type three secretion system protein IpaC in Shigella infection, identifying it as a potential target for anti-infective drug therapies. Jenna has presented her research on several occasions and was recently chosen to present her work at Research on Capitol Hill and at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. She will graduate this spring with a BS in chemistry and a music minor. She is excited to continue her studies at USU as she pursues a Master’s degree in biochemistry.