Bacterial agents that cause disease in man and animals are the focus of our research. Pathogenic mechanisms these organisms use to evade host immune mechanisms and cause disease is a specific focus.
We are interested in all CDC select agents as well as pathogens within the genera Streptococcus, Pasteurella and Myobacterium. The genetic diversity of these pathogens, their virulence factors, and the development of multiplexed real-time PCR assays for their detection and differentiation, are some areas in which we are currently working. Particular species in which we are interested include: Burkholderia pseudomallei (the etiologic agent of melioidosis), Burkholderia mallei (the etiologic agent of glanders), Pasteurella multocida (the agent of fowl cholera), and pathogenic members of the genus Mycobacterium including M. ulcerans (the etiologic agent of Buruli ulcer) and drug-resistant isolates of M. tuberculosis.
In addition to the above, we also maintain an active interest in the areas of decontamination, disinfection, and infection control. We are currently performing research on compounds and devices that are capable of high-level disinfection (with an emphasis on tuberculocidal activity) and/or sterilization. We are also interested in natural products that are capable of killing or inhibiting the growth of pathogens, or stimulating the immune system to prevent disease.
Current Research Support: Department of Homeland Security Several commercial companies
Professional Affiliations: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) American Association for Cancer Research