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Host-Pathogen Seminar Series 2011-2012



November 7, 2011    

Jenny P-Y Ting, PhD, Kenan Professor of Microbiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

"NLRs and Plexins: New Family values in immunity"

Our laboratory has broad interest in the application of basic molecular biology to the study of disease-relevant issues. Major directions include host defense, inflammation, signal transduction, gene discovery, functional genomics and proteomics, gene regulation, molecular immunology, cancer research and neuro-inflammation. These divergent studies are incorporated into four major directions relying heavily on cutting edge technologies including cDNA microarray, 2D gel-mass spectroscopy, gene-ablation and RNA interference. These new approaches are integrated with traditional approaches employed in molecular biology, biochemistry, and immunology. Trainees typically are exposed to an enormous repertoire of expertise and approaches.

November 21, 2011    

Theresa M. Koehler, PhD, Herbert L. and Margaret W. DuPont Professor, Chair ad interim, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston

“Virulence Gene Expression by the Anthrax Bacterium: A Unique Regulator's in Host-Pathogen Signaling”

Virulence of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is associated with synthesis of the anthrax toxin proteins, protective antigen, lethal factor, and edema factor, and an anti-phagocytic capsule composed of poly-D-glutamic acid. Dr. Koehler's lab focuses on the genetic basis for expression of the structural genes for the toxin proteins, the capsule biosynthesis operon, and other genes with a known or suspected role in virulence. The model for virulence gene regulation in B. anthracis is of growing complexity and includes numerous trans-acting regulators. The most critical and far-reaching of these is AtxA, a transcriptional regulator with unique properties. Dr. Koehler's talk will focus on molecular mechanisms for controlled expression and function of this important protein.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Microbiology



April 9, 2012

Daniel E. Goldberg, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology & Co-Chair, Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University School of Medicine

"Trial by fire and starvation: how the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum survives in its host"

Malaria parasites survive major stresses in their human host. Mechanisms to survive nutrient stress (isoleucine limitation) and fever (heat shock) will be described.


May 21, 2012

David Russell, PhD, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

"Communication between host and microbe during human tuberculosis"

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) is an extremely successful pathogen that demonstrates the capacity to sense, respond to, and modulate its host both at the cellular and tissue levels. Dr. Russell's lab focuses on understanding how pathogen and host sense one another and how the resulting responses shape the course of disease.


Co-sponsored by the Department of Veterinary Biosciences and The Research Institute at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis

Note: this seminar will take place in 170 DHLRI

June 18, 2012

Philippe J. Sansonetti, MD, Director, Department of Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis, Pasteur Institute of Paris

"Commensals and Pathogens: War and Peace at Mucosal Surface"

Dr. Philippe Sansonetti’s research focuses on Shigella Gram-negative bacteria that cause dysentery. His goal is to decipher the molecular and cellular bases of Shigella's invasion and inflammatory destruction of the intestinal lining. He also is analyzing the mechanisms of immunity against Shigella, with the goal of developing a vaccine against bacillary  dysentery. Dr. Sansonetti was also just elected as a Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences in May 2012.


Co-sponsored by Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases (PHPID)

Note: this seminar will take place in 170 DHLRI