We want to understand what host and pathogen determinants impact the fate of intracellular bacteria such as Salmonella.
To do this, we use a multidisciplinary approach encompassing proteomics, genetic screens, cell biology, biochemistry and structural biology, to identify and investigate at the molecular level how host and pathogen proteins interact to alter the outcome of bacterial infections.
The Thurston laboratory seeks to understand what determines the fate of intracellular bacteria, a complex interaction mediated by both the host and the pathogen. On the host side, our research focuses on cell-intrinsic innate immune mechanisms that protect against intracellular bacteria. To complement this, we also research how Salmonella effector proteins, delivered into host cells, manipulate innate immune signaling.
The laboratory was established in 2018 with the award of a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship to Dr. Teresa Thurston. Since then we have been awarded an MRC research grant which started in 2021 and an ERC starting grant (2022) which will fund new positions in 2023.
Teresa completed her PhD in 2010 with Dr. Felix Randow, at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge. During this time and a short postdoc period, she worked on understanding how antibacterial autophagy functions as a cell autonomous innate immune mechanism to restrict the growth of cytosolic bacteria.
In 2011, Teresa joined the CMBI as a postdoc in the laboratory of Prof. David Holden, focusing on Salmonella as a model intracellular pathogen. She was awarded an Early Career Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust in 2012 and an Imperial College Research Fellowship in 2014 to establish her own research niche focused on innate immune signaling during Salmonella infection.