We are interested to understand how bacterial pathogens infect hosts as well as how do they get tolerance to antibiotic killing, aiming to find solutions for global crisis of the antibiotic resistance.
We attempt to understand the molecular mechanism that bacterial pathogens use to attack and exploit hosts. Currently we mainly focus on type VI secretion system (T6SS), a complex molecular nanomachine for translocation of effector proteins to eukaryotic cells or prokaryotic competitors. With Vibrio parahaemolyticus as a model, we are dedicating to the role of T6SSs during bacterial survival and infection as well as the underlying mechanism of action of the effectors.
Mechanism of bacterial death
Antibiotics resistance has become a global crisis due to escalating evolution of resistance coupled with a diminished antibiotic pipeline. It is highly urgent for actions to be taken to develop new antibiotics that can fight the widely-distributed drug resistant bacteria. One efficient way to achieve this goal is to understand how the current antibiotics act on bacteria and how bacteria respond to antibiotic killing as well as how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. Such effort could lead to the identification of novel candidates as a target for new chemical identities with novel mode of action. With Acinetobacter baumannii and Escherichia coli as the model microorganisms, we employ a diverse toolkit, including genetics, biochemical, chemical genetic and metabolomic profiling, for key factors leading to bacterial tolerance to antibiotic killing. Our goal is to identify new targets for the development of more effective chemotherapies.
Development of new antibacterials
We look for new antibacterial reagent for resistant bacterial pathogens and are interested in multi-discipline collaborations.