Krukonis, Dr. Eric

Title of Research Project:

Investigating Bacteria Associated with Root Caries in Dentistry OR Regulation of Virulence in Vibrio cholerae, the Causative Agent of Cholera OR Pathogenic Mechanisms of the Plague Pathogen Yersinia pestis


Research Description:

1) We have found two bacterial species highly associated with root caries in geriatric patients., Strep mutans and Veillonella parvula We are investigating metabolic interactions between these two species as well as their role in oral biofilm formation.

2) We investigate how two transcription factors in V. cholerae, ToxR and TcpP, combine to regulate virulence gene expression by controlling the toxT promoter. Once ToxT is produced, it activates adhesins for tissue colonization and the cholera toxin gene.

3) We investigate how Y. pestis delivers toxins to host cells during infection and how Y. pestis survives in blood in the face of bactericidal complement proteins from the host.


If there is important prerequisite knowledge/skills required for students, please describe below:

A deep interest in bacterial pathogens and disease is required