I am the national director for the National Doctoral Programme in Infections and Antibiotics, NDPIA, and I am a group leader studying infection biology at the Department of Molecular Biology.
My research focuses on virulence and survival mechanisms of the fish pathogen Vibrio anguillarum. My group investigates how this pathogen communicates within its population to coordinate complex activities, such as biofilm formation, colonization of host tissues, and protein secretion via the type VI secretion system. Characterization of these survival mechanisms will help us to understand how this pathogen causes disease in fish. In collaboration with a group at Troy University, Alabama, I also investigate the microbial safety of the use of blenderized whole foods for tube feeding.
My research career started with my PhD studies at The University of Alabama, which were completed in 1986. This work was one of the first to utilize denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to isolate mutant DNA fragments as part of an in vitro mutagenesis. The Escherichia coli trpA gene was mutated and expressed to aid purification of the TrpA -subunit for functional analyses. My first postdoctoral project (1986-1989) analyzed the sequence structures required for DNA to bend and was performed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. My second postdoctoral project at Umeå University (1990) started my work on Vibrio anguillarum.