Graduate School: University of Rochester
Primary Appointment: Professor, Medicine, Infectious Diseases and International Health
Molecular mechanisms of bacterial and fungal pathogenesis, innate immunity, Caenorhabditis elegans
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program(s)
Our laboratory has two major research themes. The first is the development and use of novel invertebrate model systems to identify and characterize genetic and molecular aspects of host-pathogen interactions for opportunistic human pathogens. These simple host-pathogen model systems allow for the simultaneous investigation of both microbial pathogenesis and host defense responses using whole genome approaches. Focusing on the model genetic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we have found that animals succumb to infection after being exposed to several clinically important Gram positive and Gram negative human pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus and Legionella pneumophila. We are using these simple host-pathogen models to explore fundamental questions regarding bacterial pathogenesis and innate immune response to infection. The second major research topic focuses on understanding the molecular epidemiology of dissemination of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) in the hospital environment. We are particularly interested in patterns of MDRO transmission and the contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the spread of resistance. We are also interested in understanding the clinical consequences of MDRO infections and identifying effective methods to limit or curtail the spread of resistant organisms and determinants. This line of investigation is an extension of my work as the Hospital Epidemiologist for the University of Virginia Health System.
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