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Bacterial pathogenesis is studied by an outstanding group of prokaryotic molecular biologists within the program who are passionate about training the next generation of researchers.  Faculty are drawn from the SOM Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the CVD, the IGS, IMET and the SOD Department of Microbial Pathogenesis. These include Drs. Azad, Barry, Bavoil, Carbonetti, Chatterjee, Cross, Ernst, Feng, Gillespie, Kaper, Levine, Oglesby-Sherrouse, Pedra, Rahman, Rasko, Tennant, Fraser, Ravel and Vogel. Their work is focused on human pathogens such as Bordetella pertussis, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Francisella tularensis, Salmonella, Shigella, Rickettsia, Chlamydia and Staphylococcus. Basic research is aimed at elucidation of mechanisms of pathogenesis and the role of individual virulence factors in infection and disease as well as investigation of the interplay between infection and the immune response of the host. Molecular characterization of bacterial virulence determinants has led to the identification of targets for immune protection and the development of efficacious vaccines including the licensed V. cholerae vaccine, VAXCHORA as well as several vaccine candidates that have advanced to clinical trials. Other studies on pathogenic mechanisms have led to the development of products including adjuvants and therapeutic antibodies. These studies offer students the opportunity to learn about translational aspects of research. Investigators at the Institute for Genome Sciences are utilizing genomic approaches to study human microbiomes in health and disease, to explore population genomics of bacterial pathogens, and to identify possible novel vaccine antigens. Trainees have access to a broad array of expertise and are encouraged to participate in collaborations between laboratories to expand to areas including microbiology, immunology, omics and biochemistry, that can be brought to bear on projects. In addition to core courses, students in bacteriology take Advanced Molecular Pathogenesis (GPLS 725) where they expand their breadth of knowledge on pathogenic mechanisms and state of the art techniques and have the opportunity to lead scientific discussions. Students participate in the Microbial Pathogenesis journal club and attend the seminar series that includes leaders in this field.