Identifying novel drug targets

Due to the increase in antibiotic resistant infections, new targeted therapy to overcome multidrug resistant pathogens is urgently needed. Using high-throughput sequencing technologies, we are able to get a detailed view of both host and pathogen during infection that allows us to identify novel drug targets. We use RNA-Seq and Tn-Seq (transposon insertion sequencing) to investigate the transcriptome and essential genes that contribute to inter- and host-pathogen interactions. Our research also seeks to discover new disease-causing factors to understand why host defense mechanisms fail against certain infections.

Bacterial stress responses as drug targets

To deal with environmental stress conditions, microbes have evolved complex hierarchical regulatory networks to trigger molecular responses that alter gene expression and protein activity. Global regulatory systems enable the coordination of downstream effectors that help recognize and appropriately respond to new environments. One major mechanism for dealing with stress is the stringent stress response intermediated by the second messenger guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp).

To further understand the consequences of targeting this global regulatory system, we perform RNA-Seq to investigate the transcriptional networks of bacterial cells under optimal growth as well as stress conditions.

Differential expressed genes between a Pseudomonas aeruginosa stringent response mutant and wilt-type strain under optimum growth conditions.