Microbiology • cystic fibrosis • Pseudomonas aeruginosa • host-pathogen interactions • antibiotic tolerance • biofilms • bacterial genetics
My research focuses on the molecular microbiology Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections and other biofilm infections. Biofilms are multicellular bacterial communities that are exceptionally tolerant to antibiotics, biocides and host defenses. Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms cause debilitating and often fatal chronic airway infections in patients with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis. My work is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance and identifying bacterial pathways that contribute to how antibiotics kill bacteria. This can help develop new therapies to improve the efficacy of antibiotics against difficult to treat chronic infections. My lab also studies how Pseudomonas interacts with the host, and how these relationships shape the inflammatory responses. This is important to the pathogenesis of chronic lung disease in cystic fibrosis patients.
Khakimova M, Harrison J, Ahlgren H, English A, Nguyen D. The stringent response controls catalases in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is required for hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic tolerance. J Bacteriology. May 2013; 195(9):2011-20.
Nguyen D*, Joshi-Datar A, Lepine F, Bauerle E, Okanami B, Beer K, McKay G, Siehnel R, Schafhauser J, Wang Y, Brittigan B, Singh PK. Active starvation responses mediate antibiotic tolerance in biofilms and nutrient-limited bacteria. Science 2011 Nov 18; 334(6058): 982-6.
Beaudoin T, Lafayette S, Roussel L, Bérubé J, Desrosiers M, Nguyen D, and Rousseau S. The level of p38α MAPK activation in airway epithelial cells determines the onset of innate immune responses to planktonic and biofilm Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Journal of Infectious Diseases. May 15 2013 207(10): 1544-55.
Nguyen D, Emond M, Mayer-Hamblett N, Saiman L, Marshall BC, Burns JL. Clinical response to azithromycin in cystic fibrosis correlates with in-vitro effects on Pseudomonas aeruginosa phenotypes. Pediatric Pulmonology 2007 Jun; 42(6): 533-41.
Nguyen D, Singh PK. Evolving stealth: Genetic adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during cystic fibrosis infections. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 2006 May 30; 103(22): 8305-6.