Haig Alexander Eskandarian
Investigating the role of bacterial cell surface dynamics in disease
We find increasing numbers of cases in which physical forces and molecular mechanisms work in unison to drive and control cell processes. I aim to harness time-lapse AFM to reveal biophysical and biochemical contexts for molecular control, especially in cases where molecular mechanisms are yet unknown. In addition, the fundamental principles that we describe frame the basis for studying how more complex behaviors emerge in bacteria, including, though not limited to stress tolerance, immune evasion, and bacterial-phage, inter-microbial or host-microbe interactions.
In the context of human disease, numerous mycobacterial species are causative agents of infection. Tuberculosis and leprosy are historically diseases with broad societal impact and carrying considerable stigma. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (M. abscessus) can lead to dire outcomes for cystic fibrosis patients, yet it has remained largely understudied. The treatment of mycobacterial infections is long and arduous. Numerous antibiotics are administered over 6 to 12 months during which time mycobacteria readily persist drug treatments and host immunity. While our understanding of molecular bases for antibiotic persistence is limited, identifying how and why individual bacteria persist stress requires a more acute description of cell phenotypes, including cell surface physiology, which is a major target for antibiotics used for treating mycobacterial infections and mounting a host immune response.
|PhD||Microbiology and Cell Biology||Universit� Paris Descartes: Fronti�res du Vivant||2009 - 2013|