Dr. Gilk received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame in 1998 and a PhD from the University of Vermont in 2004, where she studied host cell invasion by the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on the role of lipids during Toxoplasma infection, Dr. Gilk did a postdoctoral fellowship at Rocky Mountain Labs, National Institutes of Health on the role of lipids during infection by Coxiella burnetii. Dr. Gilk joined IUSM in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. Her primary interest in how obligate intracellular pathogens subvert host cell lipids and lipid signaling during infection. Her lab currently focuses on discovering why Coxiella is exquisitely sensitive to cellular cholesterol levels.
Elevated Cholesterol in the Coxiella burnetii Intracellular Niche Is Bacteriolytic. mBio Mulye M; Samanta D; Winfree S; Heinzen RA; Gilk SD; 2017 Feb 28
Interactions between the Coxiella burnetii parasitophorous vacuole and the endoplasmic reticulum involve the host protein ORP1L. Cellular microbiology. Justis AV; Hansen B; Beare PA; King KB; Heinzen RA; Gilk SD; 2016 Jun 26
Bacterial colonization of host cells in the absence of cholesterol. PLoS pathogens. Gilk SD; Cockrell DC; Luterbach C; Hansen B; Knodler LA; Ibarra JA; Steele-Mortimer O; Heinzen RA; 2013 Jan 24