Ghosh, Partho
Mechanisms of bacterial and protozoan pathogenesis, and host response against infectious microbes.

Contact Information
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Office: Natural Sciences Bldg 3105
Phone: 858-822-1139
Group: View group members
1992 Ph. D., University of California, San Francisco
1985 B.S., Yale University
1997 Postdoc, Harvard University
Awards and Academic Honors
Burroughs-Wellcome New Initiatives in Malaria
W. M. Keck Distinguished Young Scholar in Medicine
Hellman Faculty Fellow
Research Interests
Research in my laboratory is dedicated to understanding the basis of infectious disease at molecular and cellular levels. We focus on mechanisms by which virulence factors produced by pathogenic microbes interact with host cell targets and thereby modulate host cell behavior during infection. We study these interactions in structural detail (i.e., at the level of atomic resolution through X-ray crystallography) in order to carry out precise biochemical, genetic, and cell biological experiments aimed at elucidating the mechanism of action of bacterial virulence factors in their cellular context.

Our studies focus on the initial interaction between a pathogen and a host cell, and how this interaction resolves as induction of intracellular entry or inhibition of phagocytic uptake. Induction of intracellular entry is exemplified by studies on Listeria monocytogenes. We are delving into how the L. monocytogenes protein InlB activates the host cell receptor tyrosine kinase Met (hepatocyte growth factor receptor, HGFR) to effect host cell invasion. Met is a proto-oncogene and therefore we hope to understand general rules of regulation of such crucial mediators of host cell growth through studies of InlB. Inhibition of phagocytic uptake is being pursued through studies on the mechanism of protein translocation into host cells by the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis type III secretion system as well as on antiopsonic surface proteins of Group A Streptococcus. In a broader sense, macromolecular recognition is at the heart of all these processes, and we are pursuing diversity-generating retroelements and the massively sequence variable protein repertoires that they produce in order to understand the general rules underlying specificity in molecular recognition.

Primary Research Area
Interdisciplinary interests
Macromolecular Structure
Cellular Biochemistry

Outreach Activities
Mentor for UCSD undergraduate and students.

Mentor for Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) students.

Seminars at Southwestern College (community college), Chula Vista, CA, for American Chemical Society Association of Undergraduate Students.

Mentor for high school student as part of the UCSD Research Scholar Program.
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Selected Publications