Research and Teaching Interests
We study how bacteria communicate with their hosts, how they communicate with each other, and how they communicate with other micro-organisms. Currently, our lab studies the molecular mechanisms of protein secretion and inter-bacterial communication in pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella (food poisoning, typhoid fever) and Streptococcus (strep. Throat, flesh eating disease). We use a diverse range of biochemical and biophysical techniques, including X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, to determine the function of the bacterial proteins that form secretion systems, serve as toxins, and operate as receptors for signaling events.