What we do

Our research examines how bacteria pathogens manipulate inflammation, and how immunity has evolved to detect this. We have studies ongoing with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (cystic fibrosis infections), Staphylococcus aureus (skin infection), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia), and Yersinia pestis (bubonic plague).

Our largest focus is on Streptococcus pyogenes (pharyngitis 'strep throat', scarlet fever, pyoderma, impetigo, erysipelas, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, septicemia, toxic shock syndrome, Syndenham's chorea, PANDAS, puerperal fever, endocardititis, rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease, glomerulonephritis, etc) because:

...it causes the greatest number of diseases of any pathogen, each with distinct pathology and immune responses

...yearly infection rates approach one billion (mostly strep throat in children)

...and is also a top 10 pathogen in mortality (invasive disease and autoimmune complications)

... but relative to other major pathogens, we have little insight on it's pathogenesis

...and we have no vaccine, and antibiotics have poor efficacy in severe disease

...and antibiotic use for strep throat is a lead contributor to the spread of antibiotic resistance