Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD
Dr. Bubeck Wardenburg is a Pediatric Intensivist with research expertise in the fields of Microbiology and Immunology. Studies in the Bubeck Wardenburg laboratory focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus causes disease, appreciating that this knowledge will serve as a platform for the design of novel vaccines and treatment strategies. The laboratory has defined a prominent role for the secreted cytotoxin α−hemolysin in staphylococcal pathogenesis, an observation that has led to the development of a number of vaccine and small molecule-based approaches that afford protection against S. aureus infection. Dr. Bubeck Wardenburg’s laboratory identified the zinc-dependent metalloprotease ADAM10 as the cellular receptor for α−hemolysin, shedding new light on the mechanism by which the toxin injures the host. Current studies in the laboratory are focused on 1) understanding the role of the α−hemolysin-ADAM10 interaction in distinct tissue microenvironments, defining the molecular mechanisms by which this complex contributes to the pathogenesis of S. aureus disease, 2) developing an understanding of how S. aureus modulates its interaction with human epithelial barrier tissues and 3) appreciating how other pathogenic microorganisms interface with host barrier defenses.