The Bhagirath Singh Early Career Award in Infection and Immunity 2011 Recipient

Dr. Tara J. Moriarty
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Dentistry
Matrix Dynamics Group
Oral Microbiology
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Moriarty's research interest

Systemic dissemination of microbial pathogens is a critical step in infectious disease progression, and is responsible for most mortality due to bacterial infection. Dissemination of blood-borne extracellular bacteria from the initial site of infection to distant target tissues is mediated by novel, largely uncharacterized mechanisms. Dr. Moriarty's research lab investigates the mechanisms underlying systemic dissemination of bacterial pathogens, with a focus on the dissemination mechanisms of the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi. Dr. Moriarty's research interests include elucidation of vascular adhesion mechanisms, identification of host and bacterial factors promoting transmigration of disseminating bacteria from the bloodstream into target tissues, and investigation of the role of systemic host conditions such as atherosclerosis and diabetes in modulating host susceptibility to disseminated bacterial infection. Dr. Moriarty's research on dissemination mechanisms has the potential to lead to development of dissemination-blocking clinical drug targets which may improve the ability to limit or prevent the most serious consequences of bacterial infection.

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