Around the world, diarrhea kills ninety children every hour. My laboratory uses the latest technology to understand how bacteria cause diarrhea in children. In addition to providing clues for new ways to prevent disease, our research helps us understand how the body maintains good health.
Dr. Viswanathan’s research efforts over the past 12 years have focused on the mechanisms of pathogenesis of the diarrheal disease pathogens enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC). His laboratory characterized EPEC and EHEC virulence factors (specifically those secreted into host cells) and evaluates their effect on host cell physiology including barrier function, cell death pathways, and effects on innate immune responses. His specialization is innate immune signaling by intestinal epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo, and includes the use of cutting-edge technologies such as in vivo phosphoproteomics, and single-cell manipulation during bacterial infection. He also offers a very popular upper-division course in pathogenic bacteriology, and actively mentors undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows at the UA. Keywords: Pathogenic E. coli, Clostridium difficile, infection, host-pathogen interactions