Biography

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Research in my laboratory investigates chemical, stress and nutritional signaling at the interface amongst the mammalian host, beneficial microbiota and invading pathogens. We devise a multi-disciplinary research program utilizing genetic, biochemical, chemical and structural approaches to investigate fundamental biological questions. Our research over the years has focused on:

 1) Bacterial cells sense several mammalian neurotransmitters as a means to gage the physiological and immune state of the host, leading to rewiring and reprogramming of bacterial transcription towards host and niche adaptation. We have also identified several bacterial  adrenergic, endocannabinoid and serotonergic receptors.

 2) We have shown that these bacterial neurotransmitter receptors also sense bacterial signals, such as the novel pirazynone family of AI-3 autoinducers, and indole, which in turn influence mammalian cell signaling, linking inter-kingdom chemical communication at the biochemical level. These studies highlight the co-evolution and the fundamental relationship between mammals and microbes, and that these signaling systems fully integrate bacterial and mammalian cell-behavior.

 3) We also reported that invading pathogens can hijack these inter-kingdom signaling systems to promote virulence expression. We translated these basic science concepts into strategies to develop a novel approach to anti-virulence therapies.

 4) Our work also explored how different chemical signaling systems shape bacterial/host relationships towards commensalism or pathogenesis. This work shows that different chemical relationships define the nature of host/bacterial associations.

 5) We have also shown that enteric pathogens exploit nutritional cues (Carbon, aminoacids and/or nitrogen sources) made available by the gut microbiota as signals to coordinate virulence regulation and modify the pathogen’s metabolism allowing for efficient host colonization.

6) Moreover the cross-signaling with neurotransmitters, which is a key event I the gut-brain-axis, can also lead to new insights into drug addiction, and repurposing of agonists and antagonists of the adrenergic, serotonergic and endocannabinoid systems as potential novel anti-bacterial therapies.

Education

Graduate School
Unlisted - International Colle
Graduate School
Campinas State University (1995), Molecular Biology

Research Interest

  • addiction and the microbiome
  • Bacterial pathogenesis
  • Bacterial virulence gene expression
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • gut brain axis
  • Inter-kingdom signaling
  • pathogen-microbiota-host interactions
  • Quorum sensing

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Take Your Pick: Vitamins and Microbiota Facilitate Pathogen Clearance.
Sperandio V Cell Host Microbe 2017 Feb 21 2 130-131
Genetic and mechanistic analyses of the periplasmic domain of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) QseC histidine sensor kinase.
Parker CT, Russell R, Njoroge JW, Jimenez AG, Taussig R, Sperandio V J. Bacteriol. 2017 Jan
Escherichia albertii, a novel human enteropathogen, colonizes rat enterocytes and translocates to extra-intestinal sites.
Yamamoto D, Hernandes RT, Liberatore AM, Abe CM, Souza RB, Romão FT, Sperandio V, Koh IH, Gomes TA PLoS ONE 2017 12 2 e0171385
Catabolite and Oxygen Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence.
Carlson-Banning KM, Sperandio V MBio 2016 Nov 7 6
Interactions between the microbiota and pathogenic bacteria in the gut.
Bäumler AJ, Sperandio V Nature 2016 Jul 535 7610 85-93
In vivo influence of in vitro up-regulated genes in the virulence of an APEC strain associated with swollen head syndrome.
de Paiva JB, da Silva LP, Casas MR, Conceição RA, Nakazato G, de Pace F, Sperandio V, da Silveira WD Avian Pathol. 2016 Feb 45 1 94-105
Bacterial Adrenergic Sensors Regulate Virulence of Enteric Pathogens in the Gut.
Moreira CG, Russell R, Mishra AA, Narayanan S, Ritchie JM, Waldor MK, Curtis MM, Winter SE, Weinshenker D, Sperandio V MBio 2016 7 3
The Epinephrine/Norepinephrine /Autoinducer-3 Interkingdom Signaling System in Escherichia coli O157:H7.
Moreira CG, Sperandio V Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 2016 874 247-61
What a Dinner Party! Mechanisms and Functions of Interkingdom Signaling in Host-Pathogen Associations.
Kendall MM, Sperandio V MBio 2016 7 2
Frenemies: Signaling and Nutritional Integration in Pathogen-Microbiota-Host Interactions.
Cameron EA, Sperandio V Cell Host Microbe 2015 Sep 18 3 275-84

Books

Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • NIH Merit award
    grant Meirt award (2017-2027)
  • ASM Eli-Lilly and Company-Elanco research award
    Oldest and most pretigious ASM research award (2015-2015)
  • GSK Discovery Fast Track challenge program
    drug discovery award (2014-2015)
  • Fellow American Academy of Microbiology
    Fellow of the AAM (2013)
  • Kavli Fellow
    Kavli Frontiers of Science National Academies of Science (2007)
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund
    Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (2006)
  • Ellison Foundation Award
    New Scholar of Infectious diseases (2004)
  • Dam Charitable Foundation
    Travel Grant (2000)
  • Pew Charitable Foundation
    Pew Latin american fellow (1997)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Vanessa Sperandio (2001-2020)