David C. Laux
Member: American Society for Microbiology, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Office: 383 CBLS Bldg.
Telephone: (401) 874-5947
Immunology, bacterial-mucosal surface interactions.
Work in this laboratory centers around the ways in which bacteria interact with mucosal surfaces and the role of these interactions in enteric disease. In order to cause disease, many bacteria must first adhere to the mucosal surface of the intestinal tract. Such adhesion is not random, rather it involves bacterial structures, often fimbriae, which bind in a highly specific manner to receptors on the mucosal surface. Bacteria must also respond to and replicate in the mucosal environment and, in the case of the large intestine, compete with the large number of microorganisms present in that environment. Our work deals primarily with characterization of specific mucosal receptors, study of the molecular components involved in bacterial/mucosal surface interactions, the role of such interactions in the disease process, and development of means to prevent infection by interfering with bacterial adhesin and replication at mucosal surfaces.