The team projects focus on Tuberculosis (TB). TB is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that results in millions of deaths annually worldwide and an increased incidence of reported drug-resistant cases. New drugs as well as novel drug targets are urgently needed. In order to realize radical advances in TB drug discovery, a better understanding of Mtb persistence and latency are necessary. In particular, this requires detailed elucidation of the mechanisms by which host cells control intracellular replication upon infection by pathogenic mycobacteria.
The team’s overall objective is to better understand TB pathogenesis to develop powerful strategies with enhanced efficacy, which allow the host to minimize or eradicate colonization by Mtb. The comprehensive picture of the molecular interactions between Mtb effectors and host cell proteins is necessary to generate the molecular tools for the development of antivirulence compounds that affect specific host pathways.