About Us

The St. Geme laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular and cellular determinants of bacterial pathogenicity, with a particular focus on Haemophilus influenzae and Kingella kingae. H. influenzae is a common commensal in the nasopharynx and represents the leading cause of otitis media and sinusitis in children and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults. K. kingae is a common commensal in the posterior pharynx and has emerged as a major cause of bone and joint infections in young children. We are using a combination of genetic methods, protein chemistry, X-ray crystallography, high-resolution microscopy, and animal models to study H. influenzae and K. kingae as model mucosal pathogens, aiming to understand how these organisms: 1) initiate infection; 2) establish a state of commensalism; and 3) transition from a state of commensalism to produce disease.