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Research Summary

My laboratory utilizes molecular and cellular tools and animal models to study bacterial pathogenesis. Current focus of my research is on Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochetal bacterium that causes Lyme disease, which is the most common vector-borne infectious disease in the United States. The main objectives of this research are (i) to dissect the molecular mechanisms employed by the spirochete to persist in nature in an infectious cycle that involves a tick vector and a vertebrate host, and (ii) to identify both bacterial and host factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of Lyme disease, particularly to the development of Lyme arthritis. Findings from my research could lead to the discovery of new venues for better prevention and treatment of the Lyme disease.