Research

Faculty in the Microbial Pathogenesis & Host Defense Program are intrigued by how microbes manipulate their multi-cellular hosts to cause disease. The resultant research programs provide an unprecedented opportunity to influence global health. World-wide, infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, with simple diarrheal illness, malaria, and TB leading the pack. These and other infectious diseases, including AIDS, are a major impediment to economic advancement in the third world. The identification of new pathogens, the re-emergence of old pathogens, and the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance reflect the globalization of humanity and microbes. New as well as old pathogens can rapidly move great distances and establish footholds in new niches. Strategies for the prevention, treatment, and control of infectious diseases require fundamental bench research that takes advantages of rapid advances in genomics, proteomics, cell biology, and immunology. Our faculty are dedicated to the investigation of microbial biology and host-pathogen interactions. Faculty members study bacterial, fungal, protozoal and viral pathogens, the interactions of these pathogens with their hosts, and the immune response to pathogens. Our program is multi-campus and multi-disciplinary, with investigators at Parnassus, Mission Bay, SFGH, the VA hospital, and the Gladstone Institutes at Mission Bay. Feel free to explore our member laboratories from the links located on the left side of this page.