Humans interact daily with billions of microbes -- bacteria and viruses. Many, probably most, provide essential functions that allow life to thrive on this planet. However, others cause disease and death. What are the specific factors carried by the viral and bacterial pathogens that enable them to plague mankind? Research programs in the department seek to discover the virulence factors that arm viral and bacterial pathogens.
Areas of interest include: regulation of bacterial virulence factor expression, control of viral gene expression, virus transmission, viral evasion of immune responses, and host responses to bacterial pathogens.