Areas of Specialization
- Lyme Disease
Ph.D.; Washington State University
B.V.Sc.; Madras Veterinary College, India
Dr. Seshu's research focus is to study how pathogenic bacteria interact with their hosts leading to infectious diseases such as Lyme disease and Q fever. The lab has started studies on how antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria influence physiological responses critical for healing of infected wounds. They determined the role of key players in regulatory pathways that facilitate bacterial pathogens to adapt to different environmental conditions and devise strategies to interfere with the lifestyles of bacteria to prevent their infectious capabilities.
The lab also focuses on developing a variety of products such as vaccines, inhibitors of critical metabolic pathways, and modulators of host response to prevent bacterial infections using a number of experimental models of infection in conjunction with state-of-the-art methods in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics of host-pathogen interactions.
Dr. Seshu's lab trains undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in areas of bacterial pathogenesis with an emphasis on vector-borne disease such as Lyme disease. Numerous training modules in 1) recombinant DNA/RNA methods, 2) protein purification and analysis of interactions, 3) genetic manipulation of infectious bacterial agents, and 4) analysis of infectivity using rodent and tick models of infection are in place for students depending on their research experience. Students can also pursue studies on the stages of infection of an intracellular pathogen (using Coxiella burnetii Phase II, an avirulent strain, as a model) exploiting state-of-the-art microscopy, transcriptomics, and proteomics. An intense "boot-camp" with hand-on training on basic techniques in molecular microbiology is provided to all students; once students gain confidence in executing these procedures, they transition to independent projects.
Uptake of fluorescently labeled Borrelia burgdorferi by activated mouse peritoneal macrophages revealed by Image Flow Cytometry. This methodology allows for both qualitative and quantitative analysis of interactions of B. burgdorferi with different types of host cells.
Coxiella burnetii within the phagolysosome of a mammalian cell.
Undergraduate Research Training Program on Biology of Spirochetes and Vector-borne Infectious Diseases
The major goal of this program is to provide intensive hands-on training in experimental methods addressing questions in areas of biology of spirochetes and in other vector-borne infections. The students will perform research on select topics depending on the duration of their undergraduate studies at UTSA. They will learn routine methods such as DNA cloning, isolation of DNA and restriction enzyme analysis, expression and purification of recombinant proteins, generation of plasmid constructs for targeted deletion of genes in bacteria, PCR and quantitative PCR, immunoblot analysis, in vitro and in vivo phenotypic analysis of bacterial strains. The students are trained on critical analysis of experimental data as well as preparing their experimental data for oral and poster presentations. Competitive fellowships are available for interested students.