Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease

Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease graphic

MoGen's research in molecular microbiology and infectious disease tackles fundamental questions as to the molecular mechanisms that bacteria, fungi, and viruses employ to achieve their biotic process.

MoGen's research in Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Disease tackles fundamental questions about the molecular mechanisms that bacteria, fungi, and viruses employ to achieve their biotic prowess. We aim to understand how pathogens manipulate the host to replicate and cause disease and how the host recognizes, captures, and destroys invading pathogens. We also study basic cellular processes such as genome replication, regulation of gene expression, and responses to stress and environmental cues. This understanding will be critical in enabling us to address global challenges, including developing new strategies to cripple HIV, prevent and treat tuberculosis, halt the spread of sexually transmitted disease, and conquer Legionnaire’s Disease, invasive fungal infections, and microbial drug resistance.

Research in microbiology and infectious disease has been undergoing a renaissance over the past decade. Microbes exist in overwhelming numbers and unparalleled diversity, and we now appreciate their profound impact on the planet and human health and disease. The human body contains over ten times more microbial cells than human cells, with members of the human microbiome implicated in many conditions, including obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Some microbes are pathogens and can cause life-threatening infectious diseases. These pathogens pose one of the greatest threats to human health worldwide, at least partly because they rapidly evolve resistance to the drugs we use to kill them. We are now in jeopardy of entering a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections that were once treatable will become lethal due to widespread multi-drug resistance. 

Our diverse labs form an innovative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative community at the forefront of science in Canada and internationally. We integrate various disciplines such as biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology, using state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic approaches coupled with advanced imaging technologies. We benefit significantly from extensive collaborative interactions with the five other MoGen research fields, including Cellular and Molecular Structure and Function, Computational and Systems Biology, Functional Genomics and Proteomics, Genetic Models of Development and Disease, and Molecular Medicine and Human Genetics.

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