Mechanisms of mucosal damage and repair during bacterial gut infection

Research area

 |  microbiology, inflammation


 |  microbiology, inflammation, cellular biology, innate immunity, bacterial diseases


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours, Masters

Project description

The gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and Shigella translocate virulence proteins, termed “effector proteins”, into host cells via specialised protein secretion systems. Many of the effectors interfere with host innate immune signalling pathways that lead to inflammation and cell death. In diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), these pathways are often dysregulated leading to chronic inflammation. In this way, pathogens can be used as tools to understand the mucosal innate immune response. The aim of this project is to utilise patient-derived gut organoid models to study infection induced mechanisms of mucosal damage and to understand the processes leading to epithelial barrier repair. This work has relevance to chronic intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease and may inform the development of therapeutics to treat a range of intestinal conditions.