Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Curtiss, Roy
Location University of Florida
Primary Field Animal, Nutritional and Applied Microbial Sciences
Secondary Field Microbial Biology
 Election Citation
Curtiss is a leader in understanding the genetic basis for the traits that enable various bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, to cause disease. He has put this knowledge to work by developing a number of recombinant vaccines against agricultural and human pathogens. Curtiss also pioneered the development of edible vaccines and introduced using biologic containment to prevent genetically engineered organisms from surviving outside the lab.
 Research Interests
I endeavor to understand the genetic and biochemical bases of pathogenicity of Salmonella typhimurium, S. typhi, S. paratyphi A, and Escherichia coli. Emphasis is on understanding the genetic control over persistence in and transmissibility from the ambient environment, attachment to and persistence on eukaryotic surfaces (colonization), invasion of and persistence and multiplication in tissues, and host specificity. Studies are in progress to understand how genes for virulence properties are regulated in response to ambient environmental stresses and to different compartments in the infected eukaryotic host. Other studies use attenuated Salmonella strains expressing virulence determinants (i.e., protective antigens) from other pathogens as vectors to home to the nasal-, bronchial- and gut-associated lymphoid tissues and induce mucosal, systemic, and cellular immunity to the pathogen whose virulence antigens are expressed by the recombinant vaccine strain. Research to improve these recombinant attenuated Salmonella antigen and DNA vaccine delivery vectors is in progress to either enhance Th1-dependent cellular immune responses or Th2-dependent humoral and mucosal immune responses. Vaccines are being designed with biological containment features to preclude their survival in nature. Various cell types, animals, and humans are used for the analysis of virulence, the immune response, and protective immunity.

 
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