Riley Lab, October 2013
Riley Laboratory Research
Our research program focuses on three general areas: 1) the basic
biology of tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis; 2) genetics of drug resistance and the molecular
epidemiology of drug-resistant infections; and 3) diseases in urban
TB pathogenesis research currently focuses on delineating the mechanism of latency and reactivation from latency. In particular, the laboratory has been studying a family of operons called mce (mce1-4) that resemble ABC transporters, possibly involved in lipid transport across the cell wall of M. tuberculosis. Mutants disrupted in the operon are studied for their phenotype in mouse models. The basic pathogenesis research has led to several translational research activities. These include the development of a new therapeutic/adjunct TB vaccine and new biomarker-based diagnostic and prognostic tests for TB.
The second basic research area involves characterizing the
genetics of drug resistance in Gram negative bacterial (GNB) pathogens. We have launched a long-term project to
identify every possible drug resistance gene in saprophytes in food that could
potentially enter pathogens. Recognized
drug resistance genes are also being characterized from GNB pathogens obtained
from clinical sources domestically as well as abroad.
The laboratory has field sites in Brazil and India where we
conduct studies to assess the burden of diseases that are predominant in
urban slum settlements, including leptospirosis, rheumatic heart disease,
TB, and hypertension. Products of our basic research
(e.g., new diagnostic tests) are often applied at our field sites to assess disease
Thus, our research program emphasizes linking basic biology research with translational research to address infectious diseases of global importance.
For information about Lee, please see his profile at the School of Public Health website: http://sph.berkeley.edu/faculty/riley.php