Leading Research in Pediatric Disease

The Pathobiology Research Unit (PBRU) consists of 19 research laboratories and staff. The PBRU amalgamates investigators interested in the molecular pathophysiology of disease, microbial pathogenesis, host responses to infection, immunity, and inflammation. The Unit focuses largely on diseases relevant to children.

Specifically, PBRU investigators study a variety of intra- and extracellular processes, such as the role of the proteosome in regulating transcription factor activity, receptor ligand interactions and endocytosis, matrix-mediated signaling, metalloproteinase function, protein secretion and targeting, the molecular and cellular mechanisms of bacterial and viral infections, immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity, and host and cellular factors that determine a variety of inflammatory responses.

Our groups employ diverse tools, including confocal microscopy, laser-capture microdissection, electrophysiology, genomics, transcriptional analysis, proteomics, and gnotobiotic systems, to prevent or treat a variety of human diseases in general, and childhood diseases in particular. Specific clinical problems targeted by our efforts include cancer; kidney diseases and their complications; urinary, pulmonary, and gut infections; inflammatory bowel disease; cystic fibrosis; liver diseases; inflammatory arthritis; and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Research Areas

  • Gastrointestinal Infection
  • Tropical Enteropathy
  • Pathogen Discovery
  • Pulmonary Disease in Premature Infants
  • Childhood Microbiome
  • Oxygen Biology in Critically Ill Patients
  • Cilia Dysmotility Syndromes
  • Gender Differences in Viral Resistance
  • Natural Killer Cell Biology in Viral Defense
  • Renal Injury and Kidney Disease
  • Urinary Tract Infection Pathogenesis
  • Malaria Therapeutics
  • Intracellular Protein Trafficking
  • Calcium Homeostasis in Renal Disease
  • Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative