Current Research and Scholarly Interests
The primary focus of our research is to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms of intracellular bacterial pathogenesis.
We study how the interactions between enteric bacterial pathogens, the gut microbiota and the immune system influence chronic infection and transmission to new hosts. Salmonella is one of the model pathogens that we study. Salmonella typhi cause systemic diseases such as typhoid fever. we also explore interactions between Salmonella and immune cells, such as macrophages. We have shown that persisting Salmonella exploit the metabolic immune state of alternatively activated macrophages in order to cause chronic infections.
In addition, we study how the host recognizes and responds to intracellular bacterial pathogens. We have shown that cytosolic recognition of some bacteria leads to Type I Interferon signaling and Inflammasome activation. We take both a genetic and biochemical approach to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in host recognition pathways leading to inflammation and pathogen evasion mechanisms.