The Van Tyne Lab studies how bacteria evolve to become superbugs, using comparative genomics and functional analysis. Our research falls into two main areas. First, we work to understand how bacteria evolve during human infection to resist antibiotics and host immune defenses. We sequence bacterial strains from human infections and use functional genomics to identify and characterize novel resistance mechanisms. These include the ability of bacteria to resist the host immune system, or to persist in the face of antibiotic pressure. Second, we help develop new approaches to treat resistant bacterial infections more effectively. We help characterize new types of antibiotics, and establish how novel compounds kill bacteria. We are also exploring how bacteriophages could be developed into next-generation antibacterials.
Immunology and Microbiology