Research in the Horswill laboratory is focused on the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are one of the most common causes of acute and chronic infections in our healthcare system. We are interested in the function of the peptide quorum-sensing system and other signal transduction systems in regulating virulence factor production, and the roles of these systems in biofilm formation and host-pathogen interactions. The ability of S. aureus to develop biofilms on medical implants is an important determinant in infections, and our laboratory is interested in pathways that control formation or dispersal from a biofilm. We are also investigating the function of S. aureus secreted enzymes in host-pathogen interactions, and we are discovering and characterizing small-molecule inhbiitors of virulence pathways. Visit the Research and Publications sections of our website to learn more about our research program.