Structure/function of the Helocibacter Pylori VacA p33 Domain
Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human stomach and contributes to the development of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. The secreted pore-forming toxin known as VacA is one of the major virulence factors of H. pylori. My graduate work in the Cover lab is focused on analyzing the structure of this toxin and analyzing the mechanisms by which the toxin causes alterations in human cells. This research is providing important new insights into the process by which H. pylori infection can lead to gastric cancer.