The focus of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular events that enable microbial pathogens to evade host defense mechanisms. In particular, we are interested in how bacteria that replicate inside mammalian cells create specialized vacuoles that support pathogen replication. We have been using Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii as model pathogens to study this process. We have been characterizing a type IV secretion system called Dot/Icm that delivers bacterial effector proteins into the eukaryotic host cell cytosol. The goals of this research are to determine the mechanism by which these bacterial effector proteins regulate phagosome maturation, modulate host immunity, and subvert eukaryotic cell functions.
Specialized Terms: Molecular; Cellular; Microbial pathogens; Bacteria; Vesicular transport; Legionella pneumophila; Coxiella burnetii; Macrophages; Protozoan; Proteins
Bacteria; Immune System; Macrophages; Protozoan Proteins; Legionella pneumophila; Coxiella burnetii; Vesicular Transport Proteins