"Fighting infection: exploiting host-pathogen interactions."
- CIA Professor Trevor Lithgow (Monash University)
- CIB Professor Richard Strugnell (University of Melbourne)
- CIC Professor Gordon Dougan (The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, U.K.)
The NHMRC Program in Cellular Microbiology is investigating the strategies used by pathogenic bacteria to cause human diseases. The research focuses on how bacteria initiate infections, how they invade and cause cell and tissue damage, and how the bacteria respond to their human host. We are also examining how the host's innate immune system interacts with these bacteria. We are working to reveal new insights into host-pathogen interactions, and towards the discovery new targets for antibacterial drugs and vaccines.
To apply exciting new advances in cell biology, genomics and bioinformatics, and molecular biology to understand the mechanisms by which microorganisms cause disease. We use (i) new methods, including super-resolution microscopy and quantitative mass spectrometry, as well as structural biology and atomic force microscopy, to explore bacterial cell surfaces and characterise secreted molecules, (ii) high-throughput screening and small molecule libraries, to come to a holistic understanding of the processes impacting on bacterial pathogenesis, in the context of human tissues and biomedical devices, (iii) high throughput genomics and bioinformatics, new imaging technologies and protein-protein arrays to map the interactions between these pathogens and their hosts.