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Dr Mark Jepson


The virulence of pathogenic bacteria relies on their ability to induce signals within host-cells to alter their behaviour. This can involve surface expression of proteins, secretion of toxins or, in some of the most interesting examples, direct transfer of proteins by bacteria into host-cells. The molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial modulation of host cells have yet to be fully defined. My group?s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the cross-talk between pathogenic bacteria with epithelial cells. Our work has principally focused on Salmonella and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) but newer projects have extended our research interests to encompass also Campylobacter, Streptococci and EHEC. Specific areas of interest include: 1) understanding how bacteria modulate the actin cytoskeleton and intracellular trafficking; 2) understanding how bacteria alter epithelial permeability; 3) defining the role of particle-transporting epithelial cells (M cells) in bacterial infection; 4) applying cell imaging techniques to the study of microbial pathogenesis.

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Key words

  • pathogenic bacteria
  • proteins
  • toxins
  • bacteria
  • bacterial modulation
  • molecular mechanisms
  • epithelial cells