champion deivanayagamAssociate Professor

Research Areas
Bacterial pathogenesis

Research Interests

Bacterial pathogenesis is a multi-factorial process that begins with adhesion to host tissues and other surfaces. While there are myriad factors that result in colonization and infection, our laboratory is focused on studying the surface proteins of gram positive microbes. In the last two decades, our group has carried out pioneering studies to resolve several gram-positive surface protein structures, many of which display fascinating domain architecture and adhesive mechanisms.

These studies have several goals. First, we are working to elucidate the underlying mechanistic aspects of adhesion and to identify common strategies used by different microbes/strains, as similar protein domains are observed among various microbial genus/species. Second, understanding these mechanistic details will aid in the design of inhibitors or passive immunization approaches that may result in preventative therapies for pathogenic species. The model pathogen we have chosen to study these processes is Streptococcus mutans, which is a known etiological agent in dental caries.

Our lab also has also resolved the novel structure of a Streptococcus agalactiaebacteriophage hyaluronan lyase, HylP. Remarkably, we have shown that this protein can inhibit both cancer cell proliferation and invasion in vitro.


Graduate School
Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India


Kaul Human Genetics Building
Building Room 402A
720 20th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35233

(205) 934-6026