Welcome to the Shames Lab!
Our lab studies host-pathogen interactions between Legionella bacteria and their eukaryotic hosts. Legionella species are natural pathogens of freshwater amoeba and accidental pathogens of humans. Inhalation of Legionella-contaminated aerosols can cause a severe inflammatory pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. Susceptibility to this disease is heavily dependent on the immune status of the host with immunocompromised individuals experiencing the most severe forms of Legionnaires' Disease. There are > 40 different species of Legionella but Legionella pneumophila is responsible for the majority of Legionnaires' disease cases. However, several other Legionella species also cause disease in humans.
To replicate in phagocytic cells, Legionella utilizes a Dot/Icm type IV secretion system to translocate virulence factors, called effectors, directly into infected host cells. Although there is plasticity in the effector repertoires amongst Legionella species, L. pneumophila encodes > 300 individual effectors. Understanding the roles of effectors during infection will lead to enhanced understanding of Legionella pathogenesis and important aspects of host cell biology. A major focus of our lab is to understand more about how effectors contribute to Legionella's intracellular lifecycle and the cellular immune response.
Prospective Post-Docs and Undergraduate Students should email sshames [at] ksu [dot] edu with a CV and statement of research interests/experience. Prospective Graduate Students must apply to and be accepted into the K-State Graduate Program.