Office: 121 Harned Hall
Phone: (662) 325-8020
B.S. Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Statement of Research Interests
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading cause of acute otitis media and community acquired pneumonia worldwide. However, far more commonly it is carried asymptomatically in the nasopharynx of healthy humans. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that allow this bacterium to switch from harmless commensal to invasive pathogen is essential to the development of new prevention and treatment strategies. My laboratory focuses on both sides of the host-pathogen interaction by characterizing how the innate immune response functions to prevent these types of infections and also how virulence mechanisms of S. pneumoniae enable it to cause disease. The overall goal of our research is to identify new targets for intervention which will help to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this pathogen.