Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 11 - 2022

Project Investigators:

Denise Monack, Microbiology & Immunology
Monther Abu-Remaileh, Chemical Engineering


Infectious diseases cause 14 million deaths a year, second only to cardiovascular disease. Many infectious microbes have evolved resistance to conventional antibiotic therapies. Currently, 70% of hospital-acquired infections are resistant to one or more antibiotics. Thus, the development of new therapeutic strategies and new platforms to study host-pathogen interactions is needed. Salmonella is a bacterial pathogen that causes the severe systemic disease typhoid fever and has evolved to survive and replicate in specialized vacuoles inside of macrophages. To support intracellular survival and replication, Salmonella acquires essential nutrients by hijacking macrophage metabolism; however, the exact metabolic interactions with the host are yet to be determined. We are interested in identifying novel macrophage metabolic pathways that impact intracellular Salmonella growth and/or survival. We will harness the expertise in the Abu-Remaileh and Monack Labs in metabolomics, proteomics and functional genomics to define how the Salmonella containing vacuole communicates with other cellular compartments and macrophage metabolic pathways. These findings will lead to the development of new therapeutic modalities that target nutrient supply to pathogenic bacteria.