John-Demian (JD) Sauer, PhD
Position title: Medical Microbiology & Immunology
Bacterial Pathogenesis, Immunology
Our lab is interested in how intracellular pathogens parasitize host cells and how the host, in turn, recognizes these pathogens and defends against them. We use the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a Gram positive foodborne pathogen, as a model organism to address these questions. L. monocytogenes is capable of infecting a wide variety of cell types, including professional phagocytes such as macrophages and dendritic cells. Survival from infection with L. monocytogenes results in the development of robust and long term protective cell mediated immunity. To understand the complex game of tug and war between the bacteria and the host, we utilize genetics, both in the pathogen and in the host, to determine the factors necessary to promote disease (pathogen) and immunity (host).