My general research interest is the pathogenesis of enteric bacterial pathogens. My particular current interest is understanding the pathogenesis of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). EHEC produces two toxins, Shiga toxin 1 and Shiga toxin 2. My laboratory has studied the basic structure of these toxins and is continuing to study their role in disease and the effects of immune therapy directed against the toxins may have in ameliorating the disease.
Selected Research Projects:
- Antibiotic treatment of EHEC infections. The treatment with antibiotics of human patients infected with EHEC is controversial. Studies have shown that treatment with some antibiotics may, in fact, worsen the clinical outcome. This study investigates the mechanisms by which certain antibiotics lead to a more severe illness. Selection of antibiotics that actually improve the clinical outcome will be a goal of this project.
- Shiga toxin 2 and its association with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) HUS development is a systemic complication of EHEC infections and is strongly associated with EHEC strains that produce just Shiga toxin 2. HUS produces not only temporary kidney malfunctioning but can also lead to permanent kidney malfunctioning and even death. We are studying why Shiga toxin 2 is more associated with HUS development than Shiga toxin 1.
Research and Clinical Interests:
- The pathogenesis of bacteria
- The pathogenic E. coli
- The diagnosis of infectious diseases
- PhD, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, 1979
- BS, Haverford College, 1971