I am interested in studying pathogenic mycobacteria. Current research in the lab is particularly focused on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB).
TB remains the single most important bacterial cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Almost one-third of the world's population is infected with the TB bacillus and almost 2 million people die from TB each year. Treatment for TB is complicated and requires that at least three drugs be taken concomitantly for six to nine months, often with unpleasent side effects. Consequently a number of multi-drug and extensively-drug resistant strains for TB have emerged, which further complicates and prolongs treatment. In some cases no successful chemotherapy regimens remain. TB, in combination with immuno-comprimised individuals, particularly individuals with HIV, represents a serious health problem. Therefore there is an urgent need to understand how Mtb is able to survive and cause infection.
My research is currently focused on understanding how Mtb uses and metabolises sugars using a multidisciplinary approach encompassing biochemistry, structural biology, chemistry and microbiology techniques. I am also interested in the development of novel antimicrobial agents and detection of infectious agents.