Intracellular pathogens need to manipulate the host cell environment in order to maximize conditions favorable to drive their own replication. This often includes hijacking host cell metabolic pathways to scavenge essential resources. High-throughput techniques like those employed in metabolomics are just beginning to allow this complex interplay to be investigated, leading to the identification of new therapeutic targets.

This stream will focus on better understanding the cellular changes induced during viral infection using the well-established model organisms of Escherichia coli and bacteriophage. Students will investigate critical host-pathogen interactions to better understand the mechanisms employed by both the pathogen and the host to ensure their survival.

This investigation will involve the genetic manipulation of both the host cell and the virus, metabolite profiling during infection, and measuring the dynamics of viral replication under different conditions. Students working in this stream will have the opportunity to learn basic techniques in molecular biology, cell culture, cloning, sequencing, and biochemical assays.

2019 Host-Pathogen Interactions Innovation & Research Stream

Faculty Advisor
Dr. Daniel Nelson

Research Educator
Dr. Jessica O'Hara