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Dr. Nizet leads a basic research laboratory focused on microbial pathogenesis and the innate immune system, with a special focus on invasive bacterial infections. Using a molecular genetic approach, the laboratory seeks to discover and characterize microbial virulence determinants involved in cytotoxicity, adherence, invasion, inflammation, molecular mimicry and resistance to immunologic clearance. The group also investigates the contribution of host factors such as antimicrobial peptides, leukocyte surface receptors, signal transduction pathways, and transcription factors in defense against invasive bacterial infection. Novel treatment strategies for infectious diseases are sought from natural product libraries, targeted neutralization of bacterial virulence phenotypes, and pharmacologic augmentation of host phagocyte function. Visit the Nizet Lab 


Dr. Best specializes in the clinical pharmacology of antiretroviral agents, with expertise in antiretroviral therapeutic drug monitoring, treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women and children, and antiretroviral central nervous system penetration. She serves as principal investigator or co-investigator on projects with the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group (IMPAACT), the California Collaborative Treatment Group (CCTG) and the UCSD HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC).


Dr. Capparelli focuses his research on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling while specializing in pediatric clinical pharmacology and population pharmacokinetic modeling. His clinical research expertise is widely recognized, as evidenced by his service to the following groups in this past year: (1) World Health Organization (WHO) Pediatric Antiretroviral Dosing Working Group; (2) Pediatric Antiretroviral Guidelines Working Group, US Department of Health and Human Services; (3) Study Panel Review for International Pharmaceutical Services NIAID; and (4) FDA Clinical Pharmacology Subcommittee (CPSC) of the Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Dr. Doran has a joint appointment in the Division and is an Assistant Professor of Biology at San Diego State University. Her research focuses on the pathogenesis of neonatal meningitis, with examination of the mechanisms by which certain bacteria can enter the central nervous system and the inflammatory response of the blood-brain barrier to infection. Through these studies, she seeks to inform novel strategies for treatment and prevention of these potentially life-threatening infections.


Dr. Hensler spearheads a collaborative research project between the Division and marine natural product chemists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. We are exploring the chemical diversity of actinomycete bacteria harvested from the ocean floor to discover novel antibiotics with activity against drug-resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).


Dr. Rossi directs the Clinical Pharma­cology and Assay Laboratory, and develops state-of-the art methodologies to analyze quantitatively and qualitatively a large number of drugs in several sample matrices (e.g. blood, urine, spinal fluid). Research analyses are conducted for the NIAID/NIH International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT) pharmacology program and a variety of other investigator-initiated pharmacology studies.


Dr. Tremoulet studies the pharmacology of anti-infective agents. Her work focuses on the pharmacokinetics of ampicillin in the neonate, as well as determining the population pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of lamivudine in HIV-infected infants. Dr. Tremoulet’s work also focuses on understanding and improving the therapy for children with Kawasaki Disease. To this end, her research has concentrated on developing a scoring method to identify IVIG-resistant Kawasaki Disease patients and identifying the role of IgG glycosylation to determine the anti-inflammatory mechanism of intravenous immunoglobulin.