James B. Bliska, Ph.D.

Photo of James Bliska

DepartmentDepartment of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
 Center for Infectious Diseases
InstitutionStony Brook University
Address130 Life Sciences
City, State, ZipStony Brook, NY 11794-5222
Phone(631) 632-8782
Research FieldMicrobial Pathogenesis
Award Year1994


Our laboratory is interested in elucidating the basic mechanisms used by pathogenic bacteria to modulate signaling cascades in host cells. The ultimate aim of the research is to provide a framework for the development of novel antimicrobial agents that can be used to treat or prevent bacterial infections in humans. We study the closely related Gram-negative bacteria Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (YPTB) and Yersinia pestis (YP). These bacteria infect lymphoid organs in humans or rodents, the latter of which serve as reservoirs. YP is transmitted by a flea vector and causes an acute lymphatic infection known as plague. We are investigating the interaction of YPTB and YP with macrophages during the intracellular and extracellular stages of pathogenesis. YP and YPTB encode a specialized protein export pathway known as a type III secretion system (T3SS). Several lines of investigation are underway to better understand the function of the T3SS. First, we are interested in characterizing the essential components of the translocon. Second, we are carrying out structure and function analysis of several Yop effectors to better define their precise biological functions. Third, we are interested in uncovering mechanisms of host resistance to infection that rely on sensing the components of the T3SS.


1994 Scholars


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