The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

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M. Stephen  Trent
Professor in Molecular Biosciences

Main Office: NMS 3.118
Phone: (512) 232-8371

Alternate Office: NMS 3.236
Alt. Phone: (512) 232-8372

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Molecular Biosciences
2506 Speedway Stop A5000
Austin ,TX 78712-1191

M. Stephen  Trent

Research Summary

In order to survive, bacteria must quickly respond to changes in the surrounding environment. We are interested in how diverse environmental stimuli promote changes in conserved microbial structures found on the surface of pathogenic bacteria. Currently, our laboratory focuses on the remodeling of lipopolysaccharides or LPS. LPS, also referred to as endotoxin, is the major surface component of Gram-negative bacteria and represents one of the microbial molecular signals responsible for activation of the host innate immune system. Our goal is to identify and characterize the molecular mechanisms necessary for the remodeling of LPS, and to determine how alteration of LPS contributes to evasion of the innate immune response during infection. Several pathogenic bacteria are under investigation in our laboratory including Vibrio cholerae, Campylobacter jejuni, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella typhimurium, and pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli. Understanding how bacteria remodel their cell surface is of fundamental importance and may yield new therapeutic strategies for intervention in bacterial infections.



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