The Giedroc lab examines how tiny changes in the configurations of proteins allow infectious bacteria to resist the immune defense mechanisms of their hosts. When faced with infection, host cells deploy a variety of tactics to defeat microbes, such as depleting the metals the bacteria need to survive or bombarding them with toxic chemicals. Bacteria, in turn, have evolved strategies to counter these cellular defenses: They produce special "sensor" proteins that detect metals or noxious compounds and trigger the activation of genes to survive in their presence. I will chronicle how sensor proteins from bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus subtly change flexibility in the presence of metals or toxic molecules, an adjustment that allows them to bind to DNA and control which proteins are made. My work will reveal how bacteria evade the host immune response and could lead to the development of a novel class of antibiotics that are able to fight drug-resistant bacteria.