Dr Jaclyn Pearson - Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Dr Jaclyn Pearson - Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Mon, 04/03/2019 - 12:00pm
End Time: 
Mon, 04/03/2019 - 1:00pm

Bacterial gut pathogens and their exquisite control of innate immune signaling pathways

​Postgraduate lecture series hosted by Dr Greg Ebert

Jaclyn will be presenting a seminar on how bacterial gut pathogens specifically target and inactivate multiple innate immune signaling mechanisms in order to remain undetected by the host, persist and cause disease. Pathogenic E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella all utilise a needle-like injection apparatus called a type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject virulence proteins (effectors) directly into the cytosol of infected host cells. A subset of these injected effectors induce major cytoskeletal changes to host cells, either assisting with pathogen attachment or setting up a replicative niche intracellularly. The effectors discussed in this seminar specifically target mediators of pro-survival or programmed cell death pathways for post-translational modification or proteasomal degradation. This allows the bacteria to effectively ‘hide’ from host immune alert mechanisms, by, for example, inhibiting inflammatory cytokine production as well as apoptosis, necroptosis and pyroptosis. In vivo models of infection will be discussed to demonstrate the physiological relevance of in vitro findings. Much of the work describing the mechanisms of T3SS bacterial effectors has been performed only over the last 10-15 years, yet the field has recently exploded, often revealing highly novel, ‘first of their kind’ biochemical mechanisms in biology. Jaclyn has worked extensively with WEHI Lab Heads including Andreas Strasser, John Silke, Andrew Webb, James Murphy, Marc Pellegrini, James Vince and Gabrielle Belz to uncover the exciting and novel mechanisms of bacterial effectors and is now focused on understanding the importance of the targeted immune pathways to host defense against these clever gut pathogens.

Dr Jaclyn Pearson completed her PhD in 2013 in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. In 2017, she was recruited to the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne where she is currently head of the Host-Pathogen Interactions Research Group in the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases. The major focus of Dr Pearson’s current research is understanding the mechanisms of programmed cell death in mucosal defence against bacterial gut pathogens. Dr Pearson is also interested in understanding the implications of dysregulated immune responses in the gut for microbiome composition and the development of inflammatory disorders of the bowel. She has published in internationally renowned journals such as Nature, Nature Microbiology and PLoS Pathogens.