Ecology, Evolution, and Pathogenomics of Zoonotic Infectious Agents
The principal focus of this group is to define the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria and viruses establish infection. Their interests surround several issues in microbe-host interactions with specific emphasis on the evolution of the pathogen and its adaptation to hosts. The translational aspect of these investigations is in the development of improved diagnostic tests and methods for microbial characterization and identification, as well as studies into new generations of antimicrobial vaccines and therapeutics.
A second focus in the lab is in the improvement of current diagnostic tools. As a result some investigations use state-of-the-art molecular methods including the design of novel high-affinity ligands and sensitive detection methods. These are coupled with classical and modified extraction protocols to improve recovery of agents of interest for accurate diagnostics. The researchers are currently investigating the molecular diversity in mycobacteria, microbial population structure and functioning in pathogen induced environments, influenza virus ecology and evolution, and developing high affinity ligands to prion proteins to investigate the pathogenesis and new therapeutic modalities for infectious diseases.
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