Gastrointestinal illness is a significant cause of sickness and death around the world, particularly in young children. Cristina studies a range of medically important bacteria that cause gastroenteritis such as E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella.

These disease-causing bacteria block the human immune response that would otherwise help to eliminate the infection. This allows the bacteria to survive, replicate and pass from person to person. Each pathogen injects a set of virulence proteins into human cells to interrupt cell signaling pathways. Cristina’s work aims to understand exactly how these bacterial proteins exert their activity and to use this information to design and develop more effective vaccines and treatments for gastrointestinal disease.

Cristina was recently awarded a prize for best short oral presentation by a post-doctoral researcher at the 2018 Young Investigator Symposium of the Victorian Infection and Immunity Network.

Selected publications

  • Scott NE, Giogha C, Pollock GL, Kennedy CL, Webb AI, Williamson NA, Pearson JS, Hartland EL (2017) The bacterial arginine glycosyltransferase effector NleB preferentially modifies Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD). Journal of Biological Chemistry 292:17337-17350

  • Pollock GL, Oates CVL, Giogha C, Wong Fok Lung T, Ong SY, Pearson JS, Hartland EL (2017) Distinct roles of the antiapoptotic effectors NleB and NleF from enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Infection and Immunity 85:e01071-16

  • Pearson JS*, Giogha C*, Mühlen S, Nachbur U, Pham CLL, Zhang Y, Hildebrand JM, Oates CV, Wong Fok Lung T, Ingle DJ, Dagley LF, Bankovacki A, Petrie EJ, Schroeder GN, Crepin VF, Frankel G, Masters SL, Vince J, Murphy JM, Saunde M, Webb AI, Silke J, Hartland EL (2017) EspL is a bacterial cysteine protease effector that cleaves RHIM proteins to block necroptosis and inflammation. Nature Microbiology 2:16258   *joint first authors

  • Creuzburg K, Giogha C, Wong Fok Lung T, Scott NE, Mühlen S, Hartland EL, Pearson JS (2017) The type III effector NleD from enteropathogenic Escherichia coli differentiates between host substrates p38 and JNK. Infection and Immunity 85:e00620-16

  • Pearson JS, Giogha C, Wong Fok Lung T, Hartland EL (2016) The genetics of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence. Annual Review of Genetics 50:493-513

  • Wong Fok Lung T, Giogha C, Creuzburg K, Ong SY, Pollock GL, Zhang Y, Fung KY, Pearson JS, Hartland EL (2016) Mutagenesis and functional analysis of the bacterial arginine glycosyltransferase effector NleB1 from enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Infection and Immunity 84:1346-1360.

  • Yang Z, Soderholm A, Wong Fok Lung T, Giogha C, Hill MM, Brown NF, Hartland EL, Teasdale RD (2015) SseK3 Is a Salmonella effector that binds TRIM32 and modulates the host’s NF-κB signalling activity. PloS One 10:e0138529.

  • Giogha C, Wong Fok Lung T, Mühlen S, Pearson JS, Hartland EL (2015) Substrate recognition by the zinc metalloprotease effector NleC from enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Cellular Microbiology 17:1766-1778.

  • Giogha C, Wong Fok Lung T, Pearson JS, Hartland EL (2014) Inhibition of death receptor signaling by bacterial gut pathogens. Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews 25:235-243.

  • Pearson JS, Giogha C, Ong SY, Kennedy CL, Kelly M, Robinson KS, Wong Fok Lung T, Mansell A, Riedmaier P, Oates CV, Zaid A, Mühlen S, Crepin VF, Marches O, Ang CS, Williamson NA, O’Reilly LA, Bankovacki A, Nachbur U, Infusini G, Webb AI, Silke J, Strasser A, Frankel G, Hartland EL (2013) A type III effector antagonizes death receptor signalling during bacterial gut infection. Nature 501:247- 251.