Joanna B. Goldberg, PhD


Pediatrics, Pulmonology, Allergy/Immunology, Cystic Fibrosis and Sleep

ARTDTP Research Discipline

The goal of Goldberg laboratory is to develop anti-infectives to inhibit the ability of bacteria to cause diseases in humans. Among the bacteria under investigation are the highly antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the Burkholderia cepacia complex, both important pathogens causing lung infections in immunocompromised patients and those with cystic fibrosis (CF). In addition to standard laboratory strains, fresh clinical isolates of these bacteria are available through the CF Biospecimen Registry. Surface molecules including polysaccharides and proteins are investigated for their role in adherence and pathogenesis. The general approach is to identify targets bioinformatically, to construct and characterize bacterial mutants, and test them in in vivo and in vitro models of infection and thereby develop rational strategies to disrupt virulence and promote clearance of infecting bacteria. These molecules are also investigated as potential vaccine candidates. In addition, factors essential for survival in the host, including metabolic enzymes, such inosine 5’-monophosphate dehydrogenase, which is involved in purine biosynthesis, are being developed as a viable drug targets. Compounds that inhibit these enzymes have been tested for activity against a number of bacterial pathogens using standard MIC and MBC protocols and the lead compounds are being further optimized. Synergy studies of these inhibitors with standard antibiotics, including those that have limited usefulness due to resistance, is also being performed, as are studies on the potential mechanisms of resistance to these inhibitors. 

ARTDTP Faculty Collaborators

Graeme L. Conn, PhD

Richard D. Cummings, PhD

Christine M. Dunham, PhD

Daniel Kalman, PhD

Shonna M. McBride, PhD

Philip N. Rather, PhD

William M. Shafer, PhD

David S. Weiss, PhD