Samuel Shelburne, M.D., and his research team focus on understanding the molecular basis of bacterial infections in humans. The laboratory seeks to understand the interaction between basic metabolic processes and bacterial virulence from a pathogen standpoint, using group A streptococcus as a model organism.
In addition, the team investigates the molecular basis of viridans group streptococcal infections and antimicrobial resistance in streptococci. Finally, they seek to understand how host genetics, microbiome, and pathogen genetics contribute to susceptibility and infection outcomes in patients with malignancy.
Specific projects include understanding the contribution of catabolite control protein A to GAS virulence, unraveling the complex regulation of virulence by the two component regulatory system CovRS in GAS, using WGS to determine and further study the genetic differences between invasive and non-invasive GAS, determining the epidemiology and important virulence factors associated with GBS strains causing infections in adults, and the molecular characterization of VGS causing invasive disease in cancer patients in order to better classify the individual VGS species , the diseases they cause, and their propensity for antibiotic resistance.