AMR Spring Seminar Series: Dr. Dominique Missiakas

“Staphylococcus aureus: Portrait of a pathogen”

Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal of the skin and nares of humans as well as the causative agent of infections associated with significant mortality. The acquisition of antibiotic resistance traits complicates the treatment of such infections and has prompted efforts toward the identification of vaccine antigens. The selection of protective antigens is typically guided by studying the natural antibody responses to a pathogen. What happens when the pathogen masks these antigens and subverts adaptive responses, or when the pathogen inhibits or alters the effector functions of antibodies? S. aureus is constantly exposed to its human host and has evolved all these strategies. This presentation will review key virulence attributes of S. aureus and discuss how antibody-based therapeutics could help alleviate disease severity, immune competence, and history of past infections.


Dominique Missiakas is Professor of Microbiology (2014) and Director of the Howard T. Ricketts Laboratory (2018), a Regional Biocontainment laboratory dedicated to Infectious Diseases research at the University of Chicago. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Paris XI (1991). For the past 23 years, her studies have focused on Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis. Her research examines pathways that support envelope assembly and protein secretion in these organisms. Additional studies examine mechanisms that mediate immune evasion during S. aureus colonization and bloodstream infection.

Disclosure: Dr. Missiakas is the founder of ImmunArtes LLC, a startup that seeks to develop vaccines and monoclonal antibodies against S. aureus.

Complete list of published work:

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