The Shames Lab
@ Michigan State University

We are a group of researchers passionate about host-pathogen interactions and bacterial pathogenicity.

Bacteria, Bacterial colony, Microbes, Salmonella Bacteria.jpg


The goals of our research are to elucidate molecular mechanisms by which intracellular bacterial pathogens interact with their hosts. Specifically, we study how bacterial virulence factors, called effector proteins, contribute to bacterial pathogenicity and the host response to infection. For this work, we leverage Legionella pneumophila, a natural pathogen of amoebae and the etiological agent of Legionnaires' Disease.  


Legionella pneumophila pathogenicity is contingent on translocation of a massive arsenal of hundreds of effector proteins into host cells using a Dot/Icm type IV secretion system.  Effectors are critical for intracellular replication, but several paradoxically augment the host immune response. A major focus of our lab is to progress understanding of how effectors contribute to L. pneumophila's intracellular lifecycle and the host response to infection.