Submitted by: Natalie Marshall
The bacterial pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) causes severe diarrheal disease and significant mortality worldwide. In Canada, EHEC causes ~50,000 infections/year and numerous deaths. Outbreaks from contaminated water (Walkerton), beef (XL Foods), and cheese (gouda) further highlight the relevance of this pathogen to Canadian health and industry.
I study how EHEC causes human disease, specifically the EHEC proteins that are injected into human cells by a syringe-like nanomachine. Using a proteomics technique developed at UBC, I examine how these injected bacterial proteins affect entire human cellular pathways during infection. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which these proteins contribute to disease could reveal clinical targets against EHEC.