Cell Biology of HOst-Pathogen Interactions

In the Lamason lab, we investigate how intracellular bacterial pathogens hijack host cell processes to promote infection.

In particular, we study how Rickettsia parkeri and Listeria monocytogenes move through our tissues via a process called cell-to-cell spread. We utilize cellular, molecular, genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches to elucidate the mechanisms of spread in order to reveal key aspects of pathogenesis and host cell biology.



Building 68 Retreat 2019

June 26th, 2019: The lab’s first manuscript was just accepted at MBoC! Thanks to Allen, Cassandra, and Arianna, as well as our collaborators Indro and Vida for their help getting us to this big milestone.

June 12th, 2019: Cassandra gave a fantastic talk about her work on the secreted effector Sca4 at this week’s Building 68 MIT Biology retreat.

June 3rd, 2019: Welcome to the lab Julissa! Julissa Burgos will be working in the Lamason lab this summer as part of the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP-Bio).

May 28th, 2019: This week we welcomed our newest lab member, Yamilex Acevedo-Sánchez! Yami is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Biology who will be joining our quest to explore the mechanisms of pathogen spread. Welcome to the team, Yami!!

May 10th, 2019: CONGRATULATIONS to Desmond! Desmond was awarded the Peter J. Eloranta Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This award was established in 1969 and is given to select students planning creative and student-led summer research projects.

April 22nd, 2019: CONGRATULATIONS to Emily! Emily was selected to be a Johnson & Johnson UROP scholar. This program will fund her full-time work in the lab this summer, as well as provide scholars with valuable networking and career guidance from MIT faculty.

April 14th, 2019: Cassandra and Allen set-up a creative and fun way to describe the work we do in the lab for the MIT Microbial Fair today. Even the littlest Lamason got to join in on the fun and practice her cell-to-cell spread.

April 4th, 2019: The lab’s newest preprint is live on bioRxiv. In this paper, we did a targeted RNAi screen focused on host intercellular communication regulators and came up with 22 genes that are important for Listeria cell-to-cell spread. This work reveals novel host factors that are hijacked by pathogens, and highlights how studying the process of spread could help us understand the regulatory mechanisms of host intercellular communication better.

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