Dr. Cameronís main research focus is the molecular pathogenesis of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum, the spirochete bacterium that causes syphilis. Treponema pallidum is a highly invasive pathogen; following attachment to host cells, the organism invades the tissue barrier and enters the circulatory system, resulting in widespread bacterial dissemination. Interaction of the bacterium with host cells and tissues is crucial to the infection process, yet little is known about the pathogenic mechanisms used by this pathogen to initiate and establish infection. Dr. Cameronís research focuses on treponemal adhesins that attach to extracellular matrix components and contribute to the spirochetal attachment/invasion process. The long-term objective of these studies is to expand our knowledge of T. pallidum pathogenesis by providing an enhanced understanding of the T. pallidum attachment/invasion process. This will allow for the development of novel therapeutic reagents and/or preventative measures to combat the disease.
In a related project, we are conducting post-genomic studies to complement the wealth of information generated by sequencing of the T. pallidum genome. In these studies, outer membrane proteins are predicted by bioinformatic analyses performed on the published genome sequence. These proteins are subsequently expressed in a heterologous system, and their function and contribution to pathogenesis investigated by performing functional and proteomic analyses.
In separate studies, Dr. Cameronís laboratory is studying the related bacterium Leptospira, a genus of free-living spirochetal bacteria comprising both environmental and pathogenic species. The main research project focusing on Leptospira involves the development of an experimental approach, named Infection Proteomics, for the identification of protein components that are key to the infection process, thus expanding our knowledge of the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis. This research project applies cutting-edge molecular techniques, including proteomics, to the study of host infection using Leptospira as a model organism. Specifically, we are comparing global protein expression profiles of leptospires in the mammalian host to provide an enhanced understanding of niche adaptation at the whole proteome scale. In a second project that focuses on Leptospira, Dr. Cameronís laboratory is investigating the leptospiral species present in marine mammals and their epidemiological relationship to human and terrestrial mammal leptospiral infections.
My research spans the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, infectious diseases, veterinary biology, and microbial pathogenesis.
Health Related Research
My laboratory studies the molecular pathogenesis of Treponema pallidum, which is the causative agent of syphilis, and Leptospira, which is the causative agent of leptospirosis.
I collaborate with investigators in academic institutions in the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, and England. I also collaborate with several non-profit organizations that are located within the United States.
Countries lived/worked in