Mirjana Lilić

Period at IMGGE: 1988-1998


BSc: Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade
MSc: Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade
PhD: University of Belgrade

Current position and address:

Senior Research Associate

The Rockefeller University
New York, NY

Research interest:

My research interest is focused on studying the molecular mechanism of bacterial virulence. Bacterial pathogens have extensively co-evolved with their hosts, displaying remarkably sophisticated adaptations, often culminating in intricate biochemical interactions between the microbe and eukaryotic cells. Type III secretion systems (T3SS) are central to the virulence of a wide variety of animal and plant pathogens and commensals, including such human scourges as typhoid fever, the plague, and bacillary dysentery. T3SS are used to translocate bacterial proteins into host cells. The virulence factor substrates of T3SS are biochemically diverse, manipulating host cell biological systems such as cytoskeletal structure, signal transduction, cell cycle progression, and programmed cell death, allowing bacteria to precisely modulate host tissues and systems for the benefit of the pathogen.Employing techniques from biochemistry, cellular microbiology, and X-ray crystallography, I study the molecular mechanisms of this pathogen-host interaction. Using protein structure as a foundation, the primary focus is on understanding the mechanisms by which bacterial virulence proteins modulate the host. Such studies will provide a framework for an understanding of bacterial pathogenesis at the molecular level and for the design of novel antibacterials.

Additional information:

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