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Daoguo Zhou
photo of Daoguo Zhou

My research focuses on the cell biology of infectious diseases, in particular human intestinal diseases caused by pathogenic Salmonella and E. coli. These pathogens cause intestinal diarrhea and may lead to more serious systematic infections in humans. Both pathogenic Salmonella and E. coli utilize the type III protein secretion/translocation system (TTSS) to inject bacterial “effector proteins” into host cells to exploit host cell functions to survive in the hostile environment and cause inflammatory responses. We aim to understand the molecular and cellular mechanism of how these effectors function to enable the pathogens to circumvent our host immune system to cause diseases. We currently have projects studying the role(s) of actin dynamics in Salmonella and E. coli infections and how bacterial effectors exploit the host ubiquitination pathways to induce inflammatory responses. Results from our study will not only advance our understanding the fundamental principles of bacterial pathogenesis, it may also aid the design of pharmaceutical drugs to prevent and treat bacterial infections and inflammatory responses.

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