Our research on bacterial pathogens focuses primarily on how these simple, single-celled organisms successfully cause disease. We study the pathogenesis in different host tissues of both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.
Our biofilm research is contributing to a better understanding of otitis media, a common middle ear disease affecting young children. We focus on two major bacterial causes: Moraxella catarrhalis and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
We also are exploring novel treatments for orthopedic and prosthetic infections due to antibiotic-resistant biofilms that form after knee and hip replacements and limb amputations. We are working to define optimal antimicrobial parameters to help fight multiple pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Our work on the immunobiology of Neisseria gonorrhoeae may lead to novel strategies for vaccine development against gonorrhea.
We are analyzing the genetic factors that enable four pathogenic species of Bordetellae to scavenge iron — an essential nutrient for their survival — from host tissues. Our findings could pave the way for possible new therapies against upper respiratory tract infections.
In addition, we are exploring molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, repair and error-prone damage tolerance functions in Escherichia coli bacteria.
Our researchers also are studying mechanisms that contribute to DNA mutation processes in the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes illness and death in cystic fibrosis patients.
Chelsie Armbruster, PhD
Elsa Bou Ghanem, PhD