EHEC Sings: Pour Some Sugar On Me

Vanessa Sperandio, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center

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March 29, 2017, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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Vanessa Sperandio is a Professor in the departments of Microbiology and Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She got her bachelors in biology, and her masters and Ph.D in Molecular Genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Wanderley Dias da Silveira in the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil. During her Ph.D. she was the recipient of a fellowship from the Brazilian government to perform part of her Ph.D. research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Dr. James B. Kaper’s laboratory, where she later also pursued her post-doctoral training. She joined the faculty at the Microbiology Department at UT Southwestern in 2001. She was a Latin American Pew Fellow in Biomedical Sciences (1997), an Ellison Foundation New Scholar (2004), a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (2006), and a National Academy Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow (since 2007). She is the recipient of the ASM 2015 Eli Lilly and Company-Elanco Research award, and a winner of the 2014 GSK Discovery Fast-track challenge. In 2013 she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She was the 2015-2016 Division D chair of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM), the chair of the ASM Education Awards selection committee since 2015, a member of the ASM Microbe program committee for 2017, and the chair of the ASM Press committee. She is also a member of the national advisory committee of the Pew Latin American Fellows Program and the advisory committee for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases. She currently serves on the editorial boards of mBio, Infection and Immunity, Journal of Bacteriology, and Gut Pathogens. Her research investigates chemical, stress and nutritional signaling at the interface amongst the mammalian host, beneficial microbiota and invading bacterial pathogens. The main tenant of research in her laboratory is the study of how bacterial cells sense several mammalian hormones leading to rewiring and reprogramming of bacterial transcription towards host and niche adaptation. She has also identified several bacterial receptors to mammalian hormones, and reported that invading pathogens hijack these inter-kingdom signaling systems to promote virulence expression. She also translated these basic science concepts into strategies to develop novel approaches to anti-microbial therapy.

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