Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Pharmacology
Research Tower, Room 400
675 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854-5635
Pathogenesis and intervention of sexually transmitted infections
1. Chlamydial Cellular and Molecular Parasitology
Chlamydiae are Gram-negative eubacteria that replicate strictly inside eukaryotic cells. Chlamydia trachomatis is the most prevalent cause of sexually transmitted infection and preventable blindness. Though C. trachomatis infection is mostly asymptomatic or manifests only mild urogenital symptoms, it often results in devastating complications including infertility, chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, premature birth and arthritis. C. pneumoniae is a common pathogen in the respiratory system and is also highly significant contributory factor of atherosclerosis. We are interested in identifying novel host factors that control chlamydial infection.
2. Development of New Prophylaxes and Therapies for Sexually Transmitted Infections
We have identified peptide deformylase as an essential enzyme for chlamydial growth. We are characterizing this enzyme and exploring its inhibition for the prevention and treatment of chlamydial diseases and other sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhea. We also attempt to identify novel antimicrobials and investigate the underlying targeting mechanism.