Philip R. Hardwidge

Associate Professor, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University
Primary office:
Coles Hall
Room 340


My laboratory is interested in understanding, treating, and preventing diarrheal disease caused by bacterial pathogens. I study several virotypes of Escherichia coli that cause diarrhea and malnutrition in humans and livestock, including E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STEC, and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). These pathogens, as well as other enteric bacteria that use contact-dependent secretion systems, represent important threats to food safety, biosecurity, and animal health. In many cases, vaccines are not available or are ineffective, and the basic molecular microbiology of the host-pathogen interaction is relatively poorly understood. Additionally, bacterial virulence proteins utilize many molecular mechanisms that are also conserved among viruses of importance to biosecurity. My research team has discovered several mechanisms by which bacterial proteins subvert the host innate immune system to promote bacterial colonization and transmission. We are directing our knowledge of these proteins and their mammalian targets to innovative studies of metabolic syndromes, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. We are also developing proteomic techniques to identify vaccine targets in other organisms. I direct a dynamic and diverse team of postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. students, technicians, and visiting research scholars to achieve these goals.

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