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Research Fellows Directory

Yongqun Zhu

Professor Yongqun Zhu

Research Fellow


Imperial College London

Research summary

We use approaches of biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology, microbiology and mouse genetics to study the bacterial-host interactions. Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, such as Shigella flexneri, Enteropathogenic E.coli, and Legionella pneumophila, deliver virulent proteins (also named effectors) into host cells through specialized secretion systems. The injected effectors target host key molecules to modulate host cellular processes for bacterial pathogen’s infection and multiplication, which plays a central role in disease pathogenesis. We are interested in functional and structural characterization of bacterial effectors and effector-target complexes, which would deepen our understanding on molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. On the other hand, bacteria form distinct microbiota in many human organs. Gut microbiota plays key roles in human immune defense, nutrition and development. We are applying the techniques of cell biology and germ-free mice to study how the microbiota functions in human intestine.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Molecular Mechanisms of the type III Effectors EspO and EspI from EPEC/EHEC

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Mar 2015 - Mar 2018

Value: £109,500