Sunhee Lee, PhD

Dr. Lee’s laboratory is currently studying the immune evasion strategies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. In particular, studies of mycobacterial modulation of host cell death mechanisms, as innate and adaptive immunity defense against intracellular pathogens, are main focuses of the laboratory. Using a M. tuberculosis transposon mutant library, they screened pro-cell death mutants of M. tuberculosis and found multiple genetic loci that are responsible for inhibiting infection-induced cell death of macrophages. The Lee lab studies these genes in relation to virulence and immunogenicity of pathogenic mycobacteria, which will provide the tools necessary to investigate the details of this host-pathogen interaction and provide new targets and approaches to develop therapeutics and vaccines for prevention of tuberculosis.

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