My general research interest is microbial pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, inflammatory and immune response against pathogen infections, and development of immunotherapies.
My current research focus is on the pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile. C. difficile infection (CDI) has become a significant public health threat in the past decade. Toxins TcdA and TcdB are two major virulent factors of C. difficile. We are investigating C. difficile toxin-mediated signal transduction, leading to the production of proinflammatory mediators, such as TNF-α. We are also developing preventive and therapeutic approaches targeting C. diffcile toxins and proinflammatory mediators in CDI. We have established several animal models of CDI.
1. Evaluation of novel therapeutics in animal models of CDI including mice and hamsters.
2. The innate immune responses to CDI.
3. The relative roles of C. difficile toxins in animal models.
4. Signaling pathways of TNF-α and other proinflammatory mediators and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
5. Development of novel therapeutic agents against C. difficile infection.
6. Regulation of C. difficile toxin production.
7. The roles of intestinal microflora and colonic progenitor cells in the pathogenesis of CDI.
2014 Tufts Institute for Innovation Inaugural Award(The institute is a major initiative of the university’s strategic plan, Tufts: the Next 10 Years (T10))
2014 Tufts Collaborates Award
2014 Editor for Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Research
2014 Editor for Austin Journal of Infectious Diseases
2013 Chair of the 3rd Annual Symposia of Bacteriology and Infection, Wuhan, China July 30–Aug 1, 2013
2013 Tufts Collaborates Award
2013 Tufts Technology Access Award
2012 NIH/NIDDK K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (2012- 2017)
2010 Nominee for Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) Young Investigator Award
2009 ESCMID (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) Award for the "6th ClostPath International Conference", Rome, Italy 19-23 October
2008 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy(ICAAC) Infectious Diseases Fellows Grant, 48th Annual ICAAC/46th IDSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, awarded by the American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America
2007 Postdoctoral Travel Award, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2002 Young Scientist Award, Federation of European Microbiological Societies for the 7th Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria