Georgiana Purdy, PhD
Research in the Purdy Lab focuses on M. tuberculosis (Mtb) physiology and pathogenesis. The lab has several concurrent projects that substantially contribute to the field by identifying mycobacterial intrinsic resistance mechanisms and elucidating the biosynthesis of the mycobacterial cell wall. First, to better understand both the pathogenic mechanisms of Mtb we identified Mtb genes required for survival in the context of infected macrophages and macrophages co-cultured with Mtb -responsive human T cell clones. Mutants lacking these genes are being characterized to further tease apart the interplay of pathogen and host. Tuberculosis continues to pose a threat to public health, and resistance to commonly used antibiotics is an increasing problem in efforts to control the disease. The current driving force behind the lab are projects characterizing the function of the mycobacterial MmpL transporters and defining cell wall changes needed for Mtb to enter into non-replicative persistence. These studies have revealed novel aspects of Mtb cell wall biogenesis. Finally, in collaboration with others we are developing and characterizing the mechanism of action of novel therapeutics against Mtb. Combined, these projects will further define the pathogenic nature of Mtb, expand our knowledge of mycobacterial intrinsic resistance, and identify targets and new strategies for future drug therapy.
For more information please visit the Purdy Lab website