Research Interest and Projects
We investigate the molecular cross-talk between pathogenic bacteria and mammalian host cells. The host employ intricate array of systems to neutralize, eliminate and kill the intruding bacteria. In response, pathogens make use of their virulence machinery to evade and interfere with the host defences and to attack the host cells. Key virulence machinery is a surface organelle termed type III protein secretion system (TTSS). The TTSS is a nano-syringe, employed by pathogens to inject into the host cell a battery of proteins termed "effectors". The injected effectors function in concert to subvert host processes to benefit the pathogen. Our research focuses mainly on entropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and it's TTSS, which is essential for virulence and one of the best studied TTSSs.
Major project in the lab include investigation of:
- The function of the type III protein secretion system and the dynamic of the injection activity.
- Manipulation of host cell processes by injected effector proteins.
- The regulatory network that control the expression of the TTSS and effector genes.