Matt Welch

Welch Matt 250

We are working to understand the interactions between microbial pathogens and their host cells from a cell biological perspective. More specifically, we study how pathogens that inhabit the host cell cytosol exploit the actin cytoskeleton for intracellular movement and cell-cell spread. Our studies have revealed that diverse pathogens - including Listeria, Rickettsia, Burkholderia, and Mycobacteria species, as well as baculoviruses – mimic or commandeer a spectrum of host actin regulators to drive motility and spread during infection. We have also uncovered new mechanisms of cytoskeleton regulation, highlighting the utility of microbes as tools to better understand host cell biology. We continue to study the interactions of microbes with the host cell’s cytoskeleton and organelles, as well as with metabolic and immune surveillance pathways. Moreover, we are exploring cytoskeleton-targeting compounds as therapeutics for treating infectious diseases.