I am an Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW). After finishing my Infectious Diseases training at the National Institutes of Health, I became an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases at NIAID where I studied host-pathogen interactions in immunocompromised patients. This is where I first started my work on utilizing antisense molecules as novel therapeutics. We are studying whether silencing different pathogens in a gene-specific way can inhibit growth in vitro and in vivo. We are utilizing peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PPMOs) to block mRNA and prevent translation of target genes in both essential cellular pathways as well as antibiotic resistance genes themselves. We are currently studying these in a number of pathogens including Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and the Burkholderia cepacia complex. In addition, we have begun to investigate using PPMOs to block virulence mechanisms such as biofilm formation. Finally, I have experience in the sequencing of bacterial pathogens and have worked with our bioinformatics group to develop robust, automated pathways to search for the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in both single and metagenomic bacterial samples. We are currently utilizing these algorithms to better understand the emergence of resistance in particular patient populations such as those with hematologic malignancies.