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.

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

Our Goals 

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.

Areas of Focus

  • Multi-directional interactions between gut microbes, immune and nervous systems (Bailey Lab) 
  • Development of novel vaccine and therapeutic approaches that target the biofilms of chronic polymicrobial respiratory tract infections (otitis media, exacerbations of COPD) (Bakaletz Lab) 
  • Host-pathogen interactions as they relate to the pathogenic Neisseriaceae (Edwards Lab) 
  • Developing technologies to ‘build’ healthy biofilms (probiotics) and conversely, disrupt pathogenic biofilms (chronic infections) (Goodman Lab) 
  • Urinary tract infections: mechanisms, diagnosis, prevention and susceptibility factors (Justice Lab) 
  • Streptococcal interactions with host glycans and their effect on colonization and disease (King Lab) 
  • Study of the mechanisms by which macrophages fail to control infection and inflammation in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) (Kopp Lab) 
  • Study of the stressor exposure effect on the microbiota, metabolites, and colonic inflammation (Maltz Lab) 
  • Nutritional and innate immune influences on bacterial pathogenesis (Mason Lab) 
  • Host-pathogen interactions in Staphylococcus aureus infection (Montgomery Lab) 
  • Mechanisms of recruitment and activation of phagocytic cell during infection or inflammation (Partida-Sanchez Lab)

Active Funding as Principal or Co-Principal Investigator

 

Faculty Member

Funding Institute

Role

Title

Dates

Total Project Costs

Bailey

NIH/NIMH

Co-PI

The role of the intestinal microbiome in anxiety and depression

9.1.17 – 8.31.20

$1,928,306

 

NIH/NIGMS

Co-PI

Tunable native probiotic formulations for the treatment of NEC

4.1.17 – 3.31.21

$1,574,367

Bakaletz

NHMRC Australia

Co-PI

Novel epigenetic regulatory mechanisms in Moraxella catarrhalis and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae: impact on vaccine development and role in pathobiology

1.1.16 – 12.31.18

$79,500 AUD

 

NIH/NIDCD

PI

Determinants of H. influenzae virulence in otitis media

9.30.99 – 7.31.20

$9,758,828

 

NIH/NIDCD

Co-PI

Otitis media: role of epigenetic regulation on NTHI pathogenesis and optimal vaccine design

8.1.16 – 7.31.21

$2,169,839

 

NIH/NIDCD

Co-PI

Novel immunotherapeutics for the management of otitis media due to H. influenzae

7.20.11 – 8.31.21

$5,391,631

Edwards

NIH/NIAID

Co-PI

Novel carbohydrate binding functions of the CR3 I-domain modulate gonococcal- cervical cell interactions

01.16.18 - 12.31.23

$2,299,137

Goodman

Scioto Biosciences

PI

Scioto Biosciences sponsored research

5.1.18 - 4.30.19

$250,000

 

NIH/NIGMS

Co-PI

A novel probiotic platform to treat necrotizing enterocolitis

8.1.17 - 4.30.19

$331,395

 

NIH/NIGMS

Co-PI

Tunable native probiotic formulations for the treatment of NEC

4.1.17 - 3.31.21

$1,882,628

 

NIH/NIDCD

Co-PI

Novel immunotherapeutics for the management of otitis media due to H. influenzae

7.20.11 - 8.31.21

$5,391,631

Justice

NIH/NIDCD

Co-PI

Disease severity of otitis media: Biofilms, invasion, and host responses

12.1.13 – 11.30.18

$1,897,587

King

AHA

PI

The role of a serine rich repeat protein required for binding multiple carbohydrates in Streptococcus oralis endocarditis

7.1.17 – 6.30.19

$154,000

Kopp

NIH/NIEHS CHEAR

PI

Immunometabolic biomarkers of tobacco exposure in children with cystic fibrosis

05.01.17 - 04.31.18

$10,000

 

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

PI

CFTR modulator impact on macrophage function and inflammatory networks

11.01.16 - 10.31.18

$100,000

 

NIH/NIAID

PI

Burkholderia-mediated defective killing mechanisms in macrophages from CF patients

01.01.15 - 12.31.19

$756,000

Mason

NIH/NIDCD

Co-PI

Disease severity of otitis media: Biofilms, invasion, and host responses

12.01.13 - 11.30.18

$1,897,587

Montgomery

NIH/NIAID

PI

Overcoming pathogen-mediated immune evasion: a translational approach to pediatric Staphylococcus aureus vaccine development

8.7.18-7.31.21

$1,520,000

Partida-Sanchez

NIH/NIAID

PI

Calcium dependent mechanisms of neutrophil dysfunction that contribute to cystic fibrosis pathobiology

2.1.16 – 1.31.19

$430,288