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Bellaire Lab

Mission Statement
Working towards eliminating persistent bacterial infections by identifying and illuminating pathways of cellular defenses and microbial pathogenesis.

Current Research Projects

Brucella abortus (green) in THP-1 cells stained for acidic vesicles (red).
 Intracellular residence of Brucella spp. in interferon-γ activated monocytes.
Our lab has been developing and optimizing tools to study the intracellular niche of Brucella and cellular responses elicited from cells of the innate immune system.
 
Novel Intracellular Behavior of Brucella canis in human, murine and canine monocytes.

Our laboratory has characterized a pattern of intracellular survival for Brucella canis that varies depending on the host species of the monocytes. These changes in replication and survival rates correspond with the relative virulence of B. canis in these host species. Identifying the mechanisms responsible for host speciation of intracellular survival of this species may uncover host specific pathogenic events of the human pathogenic species of B. melitensis, B. abortus and B. suis.

Novel anti-microbial approach in treating chronic Brucella infections.
Currently we are examining 2 frontline small molecules identified in previous experiments at LSU that exhibited significant anti-brucella activity on intracellular bacteria.
 polySA (green)_48hr p.i._WGA (red)
Polyanhydride nanosphere interactions with human monocytic and dendritic cells.

Our lab has undertaken a collaborative project with Dr. Balaji Narisimhan to examine the cellular distribution of polyanhydride nanospheres used to formulate improved subunit vaccines for delivery to humans and animals. We demonstrated that such particles are delivered to organized, intracellular structures that are diverse in their cellular function. We are currently working towards understanding the relative contribution each of these varied intracellular compartments makes towards the unique and highly desirable adjuvanticity characteristics of the polyanhydrides copolymers.