About the Quadri Lab's Research
The Mycobacterium genus includes close to 200 species. Among these are obligate pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agents of two diseases that have plagued humans for millennia; tuberculosis and leprosy, respectively. The genus also includes ubiquitous environmental species, collectively referred to as nontuberculous mycobacteria. Today, many of these species are recognized as opportunistic human pathogens of increasing clinical significance worldwide. Among them, Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium abscessus, and Mycobacterium kansasii are the most pathogenic. These and other nontuberculous mycobacterial pathogens cause tuberculosis-like chronic pulmonary disease in individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as immunocompromised individuals or those with suboptimal lung function.
Mycobacterial infections are difficult to control and eradicate. Effective treatments require costly, long-term (months to years) multidrug (often 4 or more drugs) regimens with adverse side effects and challenging compliance. The rise of drug-resistant strains is a global phenomenon of increasing concern and threatens the control of mycobacterial infections. Comprehensive knowledge of the biology of mycobacterial pathogens is needed to illuminate paths to new and more efficacious therapeutics against mycobacterial infections.
Our long-term goals are to understand the biology of mycobacterial pathogens and illuminate new avenues for antimicrobial drug development. Current projects in the Quadri Lab are aimed at (i) studying mechanisms of antimicrobial drug resistance in mycobacteria, (ii) discovering mycobacterial genetic determinants involved in the uptake of iron essential for pathogen growth, (iii) developing antibiotics with novel modes of action, and (iv) identifying essential mycobacterial genes as new drug target candidates. We utilize techniques in molecular biology, enzymology, mutational analysis, bioinformatics, molecular modeling, omics (RNA-Seq, Tn-Seq), enzyme inhibitor and antimicrobial testing, mass spectrometry, and more with great collaborators.