- Host-bacteria interactions
- Syphilis and leptospirosis
- Identifying and characterizing the molecules central to the pathogenesis of Treponema pallidum and Leptospira
Microbiologist Caroline Cameron is one of the world's leading experts on the basic science of syphilis.
In fact, her lab is the only one in the country - and one of five worldwide - investigating this deadly and insidious disease at its basic scientific level.
Syphilis remains a public health concern in Canada and around the world, with a global estimate of 15 million new cases annually. It is caused by Treponema pallidum, a corkscrew-shaped spirochete bacterium that is highly invasive in multiple body tissues.
Dr. Cameron, who is the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Pathogenesis, is trying to understand how T. pallidum attaches to the tissues of its host, how it passes through the tissue barrier, and how it spreads to distant tissue sites.
The challenge when working with T. pallidum is its inability to survive outside its host, making it impossible for researchers to grow it in a petri dish.
Dr. Cameron is trying creative ways to study this pathogen. She is identifying the proteins on its surface layer that bind to human cells and help spread the bacterium throughout the body. Her goal is to develop a vaccine.
Another spirochete Dr. Cameron examines is Leptospira, which causes Leptospirosis, the most widespread animal-to-human transmitted disease in the world. It infects every known animal species, most frequently, dogs and sea lions.
Dr. Cameron's classes have a conceptual medical focus so students can better understand the context in which pathogens can act within the human body, rather than studying them as stand-alone textbook examples.
Dr. Cameron's Faces of UVic Research video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBW4zV6fb2w
Dr. Cameron's research spans the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, infectious diseases, veterinary biology, and microbial pathogenesis.
Health Related Research
Dr. Cameron's laboratory studies the molecular pathogenesis of Treponema pallidum, which is the causative agent of syphilis, and Leptospira, which is the causative agent of leptospirosis.
Dr. Cameron collaborates with investigators in academic institutions in the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, and England. She also collaborates with several non-profit organizations that are located within the United States.
Countries lived/worked in
Dr. Cameron has lived/worked in the United States.