Research

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Husson Laboratory | Meet the Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Robert N. Husson, MD (contact Robert Husson)

Research Fellows

Xavier Carette, PhD (contact Xavier Carette)

Xavier received his B. Sc. in Genetics & Microbiology and B. Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille in France. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Law and Health at Lille, France. During his PhD, he studied the improvement of ethionamide, a second line antituberculous treatment. TB is a very peculiar disease which is not easily diagnosed nor treated. In some cases, with the development of drug resistance strains, we have to use second line compounds which are less effective than first line and bear much more severe side effects. Those effects are dose related so it was proposed to decrease the dose of ethionamide without losing its activity. This is possible because ethionamide is a compound that needs to be activated by the mycobacteria. His research in the molecular pathways in which this activation occurred permitted the development of compromising compounds in collaboration with several leading teams in drug development.

Interested by the molecular mechanisms of metabolism pathways, he decided to pursue his research in the laboratory of Dr Robert Husson as a post doctoral trainee. His research focuses on the study of two Ser/Thr kinases: PknA and PknB. These two essential kinases are highly implicated in regulating cell wall synthesis, cell division, cell envelope lipid synthesis, stress responses and central carbon metabolism. Currently, his goal is to decipher the implication of these two kinases in these pathways using lipidomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics and proteomics in collaboration with leading teams in each platform.

Lakshmi Prasad Potluri, PhD (contact Lakshmi Prasad Potluri)

Prasad did his Ph.D. in bacterial genetics and physiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and the University of Nebraska. His research interests include small molecule therapeutics, anti-microbial drug resistance and host-pathogen interactions of intracellular pathogens.

He is currently working on understanding the role of ECF Sigma factors in regulation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) DNA repair during stress. He is also working on identifying the direct substrates of Mtb Serine/Threonine Protein Kinases (STPKs) using a chemical genetics approach. The information obtained from these projects will help us understand the mechanisms of drug resistance in TB and the cellular functions of M. tuberculosis STPKs, and will allow us to design more effective anti-TB therapeutics.

Ju-Mei Zeng, PhD (contact Ju-Mei Zeng)

Ju-Mei received her Ph.D. degree in 2012 from National Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan. China. After which she obtained a research associate position in Chinese Academy of Sciences in Chengdu. China. She joined the Husson lab as a postdoctoral research fellow in Dec. 2014. Her training and expertise are in the areas of molecular microbiology, biochemical and structural biology. She is interested in understanding the mechanisms of pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and applying this knowledge to develop more effective drugs for tuberculosis treatment. At present, her contribution to the Husson Lab’s efforts include construct essential gene conditional knockout strains to study Ser/Thr kinase signaling, new anti-TB compounds screening and investigation of M. tuberculosis toxin-antitoxin systems in collaboration with the Woychik laboratory at Rutgers.

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