Dr. Velarde’s research focuses on the pathogenesis of the Group A Streptococcus (GAS). This pathogen most commonly causes non-invasive infections such as pharyngitis or skin infections. However, it is also capable of causing aggressive invasive infections. Dr. Velarde’s research focuses on the mechanisms by which GAS causes invasive disease.
GAS has been demonstrated to respond to LL-37, a human antimicrobial peptide, by up-regulating multiple virulence factors through a two-component system called the CsrRS (or CovRS) system. Dr. Velarde’s work focuses on the mechanism by which LL-37 exerts this effect through the CsrS receptor, with the goal of understanding what role this interaction plays in the virulence of this pathogen.
About Dr. Velarde
Dr. Velarde received a BS in biology and BA in Spanish from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1997. He then joined the MD/PhD program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and completed his graduate work in the laboratory of Dr. James Nataro, where he studied the pathogenesis of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli. In 2006, he joined the pediatric residency program at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Upon completion of his residency he spent a year working in the CCHMC emergency department and then transitioned, in 2010, to a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the Boston Children’s Hospital. His fellowship research was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Wessels. In January of 2014 he joined the faculty in the division of infectious diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital.