Our laboratory is working to understand the bacterial virulence factors that contribute to colonization, biofilm formation, and infection by E.faecalis and related pathogens. Currently we are focused on three areas:
Mechanisms of focal virulence factor assembly
Using genetic and biochemical approaches, coupled with high resolution microscopy and ‘omics approaches, we are exploring the molecular mechanisms that dictate focal localization of virulence factor assembly sites, using the pilus assembly platform as a model system.
Gram Positive & Polymicrobial Interactions in UTI and Wound Infection
Using in vitro and in vivo infection models, we are examining mechanisms by which Gram positive uropathogens, such as E. faecalis, interact with the host to cause disease during monomicrobial, polymicrobial, and device-associated infections.
Pathogen-host interactions important during in Group A Streptococcus biofilm formation
The ability to form biofilms is a the major virulence determinant of Group A Streptococcus (GAS). Using in vitro and in vivo models we are investigating bacterial and host factors and mechanisms promoting biofilm growth during GAS infection.