Yoann Le Breton, PhD, Research Assistant Professor
Molecular microbiologist with interest in bacterial genetics, molecular biology, functional genomics and systems biology, I am using the Group A Streptococcus as a model organism to investigate bacterial cell physiology, gene regulation and their connection to pathogenesis. I use global phenotype screens such as Transposon Site Hybridization (TraSH) and Transposon-Sequencing (Tn-seq) as well as transcriptomics (microarrays, RNA-seq) to explore host-pathogen molecular interactions.
My research interests lie in understanding disease-causing pathogens relevant to human public health and working towards therapeutic strategies against these diseases.
we use whole genome approaches to interrogate the physiology of a strict human pathogen, Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus/GAS), and studying the complex cellular mechanisms that allow this bacterium to respond to different environmental stimuli. I am interested in exploring the experimentally derived functions of genes that affect GAS fitness found in our screens during GAS infection.
My project focuses on understanding the connection between the PTS system and virulence in GAS
Luis Vega, PhD, Post Doc
My work focuses on characterizing the factors and mechanisms employed by GAS to evade and survive killing by innate immune cells such as neutrophils and macrophages. I am most interested in how their expression is coordinated and how they are regulated in response to innate immune cell challenge.
Kayla Valdes, Graduate Student
Kayla is a NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellow. Her work focuses on the effect of carbohydrate sources on the Multiple Gene Regulator of the Group A Streptococcus (Mga). Kayla has also been an active member of the Graduate Student Association, serving as treasurer, career development officer, and president. She also volunteers as chair for the Mentors, Advisors, and Peers (MAPs) program for the local chapter of the professional networking association Women in BIo.