Molecular Pathogenesis of Invasive Spirochetes: A central focus of our research program is determining how the highly invasive syphilis spirochete, Treponema pallidum, is able to rapidly and efficiently invade host tissue. These investigations include analyses of the nature and functional consequence of molecular interactions occurring between T. pallidum and host cells.
Syphilis Vaccine Development: Using a multi-pronged approach our lab is identifying and characterizing vaccine candidates for development of a prophylactic syphilis vaccine.
Development of Improved Syphilis Diagnostic Candidates: Through both ongoing research in our lab and collaborative research endeavors we are developing improved diagnostic candidates for antibody-mediated and direct detection of syphilis infections.
Posttranslational Modifications of Spirochete Proteins: Using proteomic methodologies we are investigating protein posttranslational modifications occurring on spirochete proteins during infection.