Dr. Peter J. Christie
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
My research focuses on a characterization of the mechanism by which bacteria deliver DNA and protein effector molecules across their cell envelopes and into eukaryotic target cells. Many medically and agriculturally important pathogens elaborate macromolecular secretion machines, termed type IV secretion (T4S) systems, to deliver effector molecules across kingdom boundaries at specific stages of infection. Studies in my laboratory exploit a combination of molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to identify and compare structural and functional properties of T4S systems used by the plant pathogen, A. tumefaciens, and the human pathogens, E. faecalis and B. cenocepacia, to cause disease.
A tutorial in my lab would provide experience in molecular genetics, protein purification, and techniques used to characterize protein-protein and DNA-protein interactions.