Joseph Lipat

Joseph Lipat
Mentor: Dr. Nicole Grieshaber
College of Dentistry
"My science classes have taught me so much about biology, and I was drawn to learn more. By entering into research, it would not only supplement the material I am learning in class but also broaden my view of modern clinical techniques. Being apart of research will allow me to apply the knowledge I learn from the textbooks and apply them to meaningful studies that will impact public health."





Research Interests

  • Chlamydia Trachomatis
  • Smal RNA Interactions
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Mayo Clinic Foundation Scholarship
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship


  • Health Educated Asian Leaders
  • Asian American Student Union
  • Golden Key Honor Society


  • Stories of Gainesville - RHYTERs
  • Harbor Chase
  • Camp Boggy Creek Camp Counselor

Hobbies and Interests

  • NFL Fantasy Football
  • Acoustic Guitar and Ukulele
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Star Wars

Research Description

Small RNA Regulation in Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium commonly found in women. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that has been linked cervical cancer. Chlamydiae start out as infectious elementary bodies (EBs) that enter a host cell through endocytosis. Once in the host cell, the EBs begins to differentiate into larger reticulate bodies (RBs) and start to multiply by binary fission. After 18-48 hours of infection, the RBs start to differentiate back into EBs and eventually lyse the host cell from the overcrowding of RBs and EBs. Elementary bodies have two histone-like proteins, HctA and HctB, which condense its DNA upon expression late in the cycle and are considered global regulators of differentiation. When the EBs differentiates into RBs, those histone-like proteins are removed. Protein expression from hctA- the gene that encodes for HctA protein – is regulated by a small RNA molecule (sRNA) called IhtA that binds to the hctA mRNA transcript. This sRNA and mRNA interaction prevents the translation of hctA. The interacting regions of IhtA:hctA have been experimentally determined and these motifs have been identified in at least two additional genes, CTL0097 and CTL0322. The goal of this project is to determine how IhtA interacts with these target genes.