Center for Microbial Pathogenesis

The emphasis of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis is to develop a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which microorganisms cause infectious diseases, as well as how the host responds to these disease states.

Despite recent progress in the worldwide management of childhood infectious diseases, including the development and licensure of several new safe and effective pediatric vaccines, infectious disease remains the leading cause of death globally and is the third leading cause of mortality in The United States. There is thus a burgeoning need, on a national and international level, to develop methods to combat endemic diseases for which there are no effective treatments or vaccines. It is also imperative to take on the challenges presented by new and re-emerging infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic pathogens.

The goals of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis are to identify virulence mechanisms and define host response patterns with the overall objective of elucidating a detailed description of the structure, function and control of biological systems in health and disease, utilizing molecular and cellular, as well as genomic and proteomic approaches. Knowledge generated from these studies and similar lines of investigation will enable CMP investigators to identify novel molecular targets that can be exploited for the conduct of translational research – the development of innovative approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric infectious and inflammatory diseases, as well as immunological disorders.

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The Research Institute is ranked among the top 10 for NIH funding among free-standing children's hospitals.