Pathogenesis of group A streptococcal infections
We study inter-bacterial interactions and host-pathogen interactions that
contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Bacterial pathogens survive in complex host environments in which they encounter commensal microbial communities and host immune molecules. They engage in interactions with the resident microbiota and host immune effectors during infection. These inter-bacterial and host-pathogen interactions have significant impact on the colonization of pathogens and bacterial disease pathogenesis. We are interested in understanding the molecular details and consequences of these interactions in disease pathogenesis. We employ a wide range of tools of microbiology, biochemistry, structural biology, and animal infection studies to elucidate the basic pathogenic mechanisms. We are also interested in extending our basic research findings into translational studies to identify novel therapeutic and prophylactic interference strategies.
Intercellular communication and bacterial virulence regulation
and bacterial PATHOGENESIS
Meet The Team
Muthiah Kumaraswami obtained his PhD in 2005 under the mentorship of Martha Howe at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He performed his postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Richard Brennan at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was appointed as Assistant Professor at HMRI in late 2010, and is currently an Associate Professor.
Nishanth joined the lab with Master's degree from Texas Tech University, Lubbock. Nishanth is an instrumental component of all the ongoing projects in the lab. His special interest is to understand the molecular details of battle between pathogenic bacteria and the host for nutrients during infection. He recently completed his Ph.D dissertation and will continue his stay in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow for short term. He has been very prolific with more than 15 publications resulting from his work in the lab.
Hackwon obtained his PhD from Korean Polar Research Institute, South Korea. He joined the lab mid-2015 to investigate the molecular mechanism of virulence regulation in group A streptococcus. Hackwon discovered a new family of quorum sensing signal that controls toxin production in GAS. He continued his investigations into different aspects of the novel signaling pathway and elucidated several key findings regarding bacterial pathogenesis. He has been very productive in the laboratory and his work resulted in 10 publications. Hackwon is about to embark his journey as an independent group leader in the near future in South Korea.
APRIL 2020 - CONGRATS TO HACKWON FOR HIS NEW BEGINNINGS
Glad to have him in the lab for the last four years. Hackwon had a very productive stint in the lab. In little over four years, he made important discoveries regarding streptococcal pathogenesis and published more than 10 papers. He has completed his postdoctoral stint in the lab and will embark his journey as an independent group leader in South Korea in the next 3 months. Happy Trails Hackwon.
MARCH 2020 - NEW NIH FUNDING TO THE LAB
LAB got the second R01 funded to study the role of metals in host-group A streptococcus interactions. Exciting times ahead.
DECEMBER 2019 - NISHANTH DEFENDED HIS THESIS
Congrats Dr. Makthal. Thanks to our wonderful collaborator Kai Papenfort at LMU, Munich, Nishanth successfully defended his thesis dissertation.
postdoctoral fellow opportunities
We are currently looking for motivated postdoctoral fellows to join our team.
The prospective postdoctoral fellows will be investigating
i) the role of bacterial leaderless peptide signaling pathways in virulence regulation, and interbacterial competition
ii) the role of bacterial metal acquisition systems in host-pathogen interactions and bacterial pathogenesis.
If you are interested, please send a cover letter, CV with details of referees, and a list of publications to
Prof. Muthiah Kumaraswami @
The laboratory is located on the 6th floor of the Houston Methodist Research Institute on the Texas Medical Center campus. We are adjacent to three major institutions (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston) in the Texas Medical Center.
R6-330, 6670 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX 77030
PROF. MUTHIAH KUMARASWAMI
6670, Bertner Avenue,
Houston, TX 77030.