Dr. Joanne Engel is Professor of Medicine and Microbiology,Immunology at UCS, Chief of the Infectious Disease Division and Director of the Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Defense program. She studies the complex interactions between bacterial pathogens and the host mucosal barrier, with a specific focus on the molecular pathogenesis of Chlamydia and Pseudomonas infections. Her lab was amongst the first to discover the type III secretion system in P. aeruginosa and to uncover the myriad of mechanisms by which this pathogen exploits pre-existing epithelial cell injury to colonize and cause further damage. She has pioneered the used of polarized epithelial cells as a robust model to dissect the cell biology between pathogens and the host mucosal barrier. Her studies of the pathogenesis of Chlamydia have ranged from regulation of bacterial transcription to using genome wide approaches to identify host genes required for the pathogenesis of this obligate intracellular parasite.