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Dr. B. Brett Finlay
Departments of Microbiology & Immunology
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Michael Smith Laboratories

Host Pathogen Interactions at the Molecular Level

Work in the Finlay lab is centered around understanding the molecular basis of bacterial infections, and using that information to develop novel therapies and other ways to prevent these infections. Two main bacterial pathogens that cause significant human disease, Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli, are used as models to study infections processes. Historically the lab has focused on the molecular biology of the pathogens and their virulence factors, as well as studying how the host and its innate immune system counter these organisms. Recently, we have also begun to probe the role of the microbiota in bacterial infections, as it seems to have a major impact on the outcome of infection. Much of our work has been commercialized, resulting in a novel cow vaccine for E. coli O157 to prevent human disease, a prototype SARS vaccine, novel ways to modulate innate responses to alter disease outcome, and more recently a non-typhoidal Salmonella vaccine. It is hoped that by understanding how these pathogens cause disease, we can use scientific knowledge to counter their detrimental effects on humans in both developed and developing countries.

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