Our research is focused on understanding the biology of bacterial pathogens, how they interact with their hosts and how they acquire new virulence and disease properties. One major goal of the lab is to identify and characterize genetic factors that enable closely related bacteria (such as members of the same species or subspecies) to exhibit very different traits.
Much of our research is focused on the bacterial species Salmonella enterica. Salmonella is an ideal subject for our research due to its importance to human health and agriculture as well as the fact that it is a very diverse species comprised of many lineages that exhibit very different behaviours and that occupy different ecological niches.
Some specific research interests of the lab include:
- The evolution of secreted bacterial toxins
- The role of Salmonella toxins in virulence and disease
- The evolution of gene expression regulation
Each area of research in the lab aims to shed light on an interesting and unexplored aspect of biology as well as to build knowledge and tools with real world applications. In the long-term, we are interested in devising new approaches to combat bacterial infections, re-engineering bacterial products into therapeutics and in developing new synthetic biology tools.