James P. Nataro, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAP
Dr. Nataro’s multi-disciplinary research program focuses on enteric bacterial infections, principally diarrheagenic E. coli and Shigella spp, which are major causes of death and growth problems among children in impoverished countries.
His seminal observations include the discovery of enteroaggregative and diffusely adherent E. coli pathotypes, the introduction of the first molecular probe for enteropathogenic E. coli, the discovery of a large number of virulence factors and mechanisms, and the construction of several vaccine candidates. He has made pivotal contributions to understanding the roles of diarrheagenic E. coli in human disease.
Current projects in the Nataro lab include characterization of the intestinal microbiome in children in developing countries, development of a vaccine for traveler’s diarrhea, discovery of new enteric pathogens, and pathogenesis of E. coli and Shigella diarrhea. These studies include bacterial physiology and gene regulation studies, the molecular aspects of toxin activity, protein structural biology, in vivo studies of diarrhea and enteropathies, immune evasion mechanisms by bacteria, and the relationship between enteropathy and growth.
Dr. Nataro directed the microbiology component of the Global Multicenter Enteric Study to elucidate the burden and etiology of moderate-to-severe diarrhea among children in developing countries. Dr. Nataro has trained a large number of undergraduate, graduate, medical (including three MD/PhD students), as well as many post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. Dr. Nataro accepts students and fellows in training as well as visiting scientists to the laboratory.
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