M. Barbier, F.H. Damron. Rainbow vectors for broad-range bacterial fluorescence labeling. PLOSOne. 2016 In print
J.J. Varga*, M. Barbier*, X. Mulet, P. Bielecki, J.A. Bartell, J.P. Owings, I. Martinez-Ramos, L.E. Hittle, M.R. Davis Jr., F.H. Damron, G.W. Liechti, J. Puchałka, V.M. Dos Santos, R.K. Ernst, J.A. Papin, S. Albertí, A. Oliver, and J.B. Goldberg. Genotypic and phenotypic analysis of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronic bronchiectasis isolate reveals differences from cystic fibrosis and laboratory strains. BMC Genomics. 2015 Oct 30;16(1):883. * Co-first author. PMID: 26519161.
M. Barbier, D. Mittar. Novel Fluorescent Reporters For Studying Host-Pathogen Interactions. Nature Methods Application Notes, 2014 Oct 14;10.1038/an9586. Nature.com.
M. Barbier*, F.H. Damron*, P. Biekecki, M. Suárez-Diez, J. Puchałka, S. Albertí, V.M. Dos Santos, J.B. Godlberg. From the environment to the host: re-wiring of the transcriptome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PLOSOne, 2014 Feb 24;9(2):e89941. * Co-first author. PMCID: PMC3933690.
I. Martínez-Ramos, X. Mulet, B. Moyá, M. Barbier, A. Oliver, S. Albertí. Overexpression of MexCD-OprJ reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence by increasing its susceptibility to complement-mediated killing. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 2014 Apr;58(4):2426-9. PMID: 24419345
M. Barbier, J.P. Owings, I. Martínez-Ramos, R. Gomila, F.H. Damron, J. Blázquez, J.B. Goldberg and S. Albertí. Lysine trimethylation of EF-Tu mimics platelet-activating factor to initiate Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. mBio, 2013; vol. 4 no. 3, e00207-13. PMCID: PMC3663188.
M. Barbier, I. Martínez-Ramos, P. Townsend, and S. Albertí. 20112. Surfactant protein A blocks recognition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by CKAP4/P63 on airway epithelial cells. JID. 2012 Dec; 206(11): 1753-1762. PMID: 22966120.
M. Barbier, A. Agustí, and S. Albertí. Fluticasone propionate reduces bacterial airway epithelial invasion. Eur Respir J. 2008; 32: 1283–1288. PMID: 18684852.
M. Barbier, A. Oliver, J. Rao, S.L. Hanna, J.B. Goldberg, and S. Albertí. Novel Phosphorylcholine-Containing Protein of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Chronic Infection Isolates Interacts with Airway Epithelial Cells. JID. 2008; 197:465-473. PMID: 18184091.
About Mariette Barbier
Summary: The research of my laboratory focusses on understanding the interaction between bacterial pathogens and their host. I am particularly interested in identifying and characterizing the molecular players involved in bacterial attachment to the respiratory airway, colonization and persistence, and host immune response during respiratory infections caused by significant nosocomial opportunistic pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Bordetella pertussis.
Main pathogen of interest: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major nosocomial pathogen and an important cause of respiratory, blood stream and soft tissue infections. The treatment of these infections is made difficult by the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance detected in the past few years in P. aeruginosa. Our laboratory characterizes the molecular factors involved in the infectious process and the pathogenesis of this bacterium in order to identify novel therapeutics for the treatment of these infections.
Our approach: Our laboratory aims to understand the function of P. aeruginosa virulence factors by studying gene and protein expression during infection. We use both traditional molecular approaches as well as novel next generation sequencing technologies to understand how this bacterium interacts with the host and the immune response triggered by this interaction. By providing exciting research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, we want to farther our understanding of P. aeruginosa pathogenesis and advance towards the development of therapeutics.
Ongoing research projects:
- Identification of the bacterial components involved in regulating host gene expression during infection: we are interested in determining how P. aeruginosa modulates the host immune response in the context of acute and chronic respiratory infections such as infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.
- Understanding the role of heme and iron uptake during infection: the acquisition of iron is important for both the host and the pathogen during infection. In collaboration with Dr. Wilks and Oglesby-Sherrouse at University of Maryland, our laboratory is interested in characterizing the regulation of iron and heme acquisition systems during infection and understand their relative contribution to P. aeruginosa pathogenesis.
- Vaccine development in P. aeruginosa using antigens designed after outer membrane molecules: we have identified the genes that are the most highly regulated during P. aeruginosa acute respiratory infections and are designing and testing vaccine antigens to generate an acellular vaccine for the protection against these infections.
- Development of bioreagents: our laboratory also dedicates a portion of its efforts to producing bioreagents for their use in biomedical and life sciences research.
Opportunities: My laboratory is currently actively recruiting graduate, undergraduate and medical students seeking research experience. Unsolicited applications for postdoctoral and laboratory manager positions are also welcome.
I coordinate and teach various course directed to undergraduate, graduate and medical students:
IMMB310 and MICB784B Bacterial Pathogenesis: I am a course instructor for the four credit hour Bacterial Pathogenesis course for junior undergraduate students and graduate students focusing on understanding the bacterial strategies to cause infection.
IMMB410 Microbial Genetics: I am the course director for the three credit hour undergraduate senior level Microbial Genetics course. In this course, we study the organization of the bacterial genome and accessory genetic elements, and how these are regulated and transferred.
IMMB494 and MICB796 Seminars: I am the course director for this one credit hour senior undergraduate and graduate course during which we invite numerous external speakers to present their research work in the areas of immunology and microbial pathogenesis.
MICB801S Immunology and Microbiology Remediation Course: I serve as the co-director for this online course directed to medical students to remediate the Immunology and Microbiology sections of their curriculum.