Matthew K. Waldor, M.D., Ph.D.

Title
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department
Department of Medicine
Institution
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University
Address
Channing Laboratory and HHMI
181 Longwood Avenue
City, State, Zip
Boston, MA 2115
Phone
(617) 525-4646
E-mail
mwaldor[at]rics.bwh.harvard.edu
Website
http://waldorlab.bwh.harvard.edu/people/matthew_waldor/
Research Field
Microbiology
Award Year
1998

Research

We are exploring the evolution, pathogenicity, and cell biology of clinically important enteric pathogens including Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). Major on-going projects include: 1) Vibrio cholerae chromosome segregation and replication. Using a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches along with fluorescence microscopy, we are exploring the mechanisms that mediate the segregation and replication of the two chromosomes. 2) sRNA control of virulence. Small untranslated RNAs (sRNAs) regulate many cellular processes in non-pathogenic E. coli. Hfq is an RNA binding protein that is important for the activity of many sRNAs. We found that V. cholerae and EHEC lacking Hfq are attenuated in virulence, suggesting that sRNAs, in conjunction with Hfq, control processes that are critical for their pathogenicity. 3) Use of infant rabbit models of diarrheal disease to study host-pathogen interactions. 4) D-amino acids in bacterial physiology. We found that diverse bacteria release a variety of D-amino acids. We are studying the mechanisms by which released D-amino acids control cell wall metabolism and cell shape.