My lab studies the molecular mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions using Listeria monocytogenes as a model facultative intracellular pathogen.
Specific projects are to:
(1) Establish the L. monocytogenes intracellular life cycle in various mammalian cell types, including human primary placental cells and professional phagocytic cells.
(2) Determine the molecular basis and outcomes of host-cell signaling in response to listeriolysin O, the major virulence factor of L. monocytogenes and a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) toxins.
(3) Elucidate the mechanisms underlying the anti-toxin and immunomodulatory activities of antimicrobial peptides that belong to the defensin family.