Structural biology of Helicobacter pylori virulence factors
BSc, Natural Sciences (1994, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia)
MSc, Biophysics (1997, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology)
PhD, Structural Biology (2002, University of Sheffield, UK)
Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship (2006-2009, University of Manchester, UK)
ARC Research Fellowship (2010-2015, Monash University)
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, bacterial flagellar motor, virulence factors, X-ray crystallography, protein structure, molecular machines, protein-protein and protein-substrate recognition.
The research focus of my group is structural biology of virulence factors of the carcinogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori. (I) H. pylori must be able to swim by means of its flagella in order to infect the human host and persist for years in the gastric mucosa. We study the mechanism of force generation in H. pylori flagellar motor and the structure and function of the key motility and chemotaxis proteins. (II) Development of gastric cancer in infected individuals is facilitated by exposure of gastric cells to H. pylori protein CagA. We investigate the mechanism of CagA-mediated gastric cell transformation. (III) The eradication rates achieved with the standard therapy have been declining and now fail in approximately 20%-30% of the patients, mainly due to antibiotic resistance. We investigate structure and function of the essential H. pylori proteins that have not yet experienced selective pressure in the clinical setting. The structural insights gained through this work will provide strategies for rational design of novel therapeutics.