My laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of severe infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Bacteriodes fragilis, focusing on the role of bacterial toxins in the host-pathogen interaction. We utilize a combination of molecular and cell biologic approaches, with animal modeling systems, to establish an understanding of this interaction. Central to our studies is our unique ability to utilize a combination of bacterial and host genetic strategies to perturb the host-pathogen interaction and define molecular events in pathogenesis and then apply this knowledge to derive novel preventatives and therapeutics. Our work has illustrated that proteolytic cleavage events by initiated by S. aureus and B. fragilis contribute to the success of these pathogens in causing tissue injury and organ dysfunction, contributing to lethal disease. My combined expertise in Microbiology, Immunology, and Pediatric Critical Care enables us to apply these findings to human disease, and drive the strategic development of preventative and therapeutic strategies.