Dr. Torres is interested in the mechanisms used by diarrheagenic Escherichia coli strains to adhere to and colonize intestinal epithelia. Our major goal is the characterization of novel adhesins and the regulatory network controlling their expression during intestinal colonization. His laboratory is also studying a new category of E. coli known as Adherent-Invasive E. coli (AIEC). We have recently completed the genome sequence of our prototype AIEC strain and now we are establishing whether specific virulence factors are associated with chronic inflammation of the intestine. Further, his laboratory has initiated a new area of investigation to understand the pathogenic mechanisms of Burkholderia mallei and B. pseudomallei, and currently, we are characterizing the type III secretion system, and testing multiple virulence factors as vaccine candidates to protect against aerosol infection.