Professor Rod Tweten

The focus of Dr. Tweten's research is on the molecular mechanism and cell biology of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) and, more recently, the membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF)-like proteins. The CDCs comprise a large family of toxins that contribute to the pathogenesis of a wide variety of Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. The MACPF proteins, which appear to be ancient relatives of CDCs, contribute to immune defense, pathogenesis of various eukaryotic pathogens and may be associated with developmental patterning processes. The study of the CDCs has revealed new paradigms in protein structure and function as well providing insights into their contribution to pathogenesis and the development of vaccine strategies.