In vivo virulence gene expression; bacterial pathogenesis; functional genomics, microgravity environments.
Dr. Niesel’s laboratory is investigating in vivo models of gene/protein expression by the respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae and facultative intracellular bacteria (Francisella tularensis, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhimurium). In addition, his research group is investigating alterations in gene/ protein expression and alterations to the virulence potential of S. pneumoniae in a low shear environments. He has had multiple experiments performed on the space shuttle and on the International Space Station. The Niesel lab is also interested in the initial responses of host cells to bacterial pathogens, which lead to new initiation of cellular signaling and the host immune response.