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Molecular Pathogenesis of Mycobacteria

Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection kills more people than any other single infectious agent in the world. This epidemic is exacerbated by the increasing rates of drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis. There is a dire need for better understanding of M. tuberculosis pathogenesis to guide the development of new therapeutic strategies to combat this global health problem. We are using genetic and chemical approaches to dissect the mechanisms by which M. tuberculosis withstands immune responses and antibiotic treatment as well as how the host response itself impacts the course of infection. The general approach of our laboratory is to integrate in vivo disease modeling, molecular biology, and biochemistry to provide answers to the fundamental biological questions regarding molecular pathogenesis and yield therapeutic strategies for treatment of mycobacterial infections.