Northwestern University

Tue 10:30 AM

BMG Seminar: UTI Complexity Results from Diversity at the Bacterial-Host Interface - Scott J. Hultgren, PhD

When: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, Baldwin Auditorium, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Beverly Kirk   312.503.5217

Group: Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Seminar Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Departmental Seminar Series presents:

Scott J. Hultgren, PhD
Helen Stoever Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Director, Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Our studies blend multiple scientific disciplines elucidating bacterial and host mechanisms that determine the onset, course and outcome of interactions between a host mucosal surface and bacterial pathogens. Using genetics, genomics, biochemistry, structural biology, high-resolution imaging, animal models, clinical studies and combinatorial chemistry, we have illuminated how bacterial intracellular lifestyles and community behaviors play critical roles in urinary tract infection (UTI). We uncovered principles of adhesive pili biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria of the chaperone/usher pathway; delineating molecular details of donor strand complementation and exchange mechanisms by which subunit folding is coupled with translocation and assembly of pili across the outer membrane. We delineated how uropathogenic E. coli use type 1 pili to invade and establish biofilm-like intracellular bacterial communities within bladder cells subverting extracellular host defenses and how quiescent intracellular reservoirs can seed recurrent infection. We have shown that risk of UTI depends on the specific pairing between diverse uropathogens and hosts and that the outcome of these interaction depends on both gene carriage and transcriptional responses. We identified complex networks governing mucosal epithelial responses that determine disease outcome. Finally, our work has also revealed fundamental insights into catheter-associated urinary tract infections caused by Enterococcus and E. coli. Together, our work is changing the way UTIs are evaluated, re-shaping models of bacterial infections in general and spawning new technologies to design novel vaccines and anti-microbial therapeutics to diagnose, treat and/or prevent UTIs and their sequelae.

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