Understanding the biological principles that underlie the mechanisms by which infectious agents adapt to and undermine the defense mechanisms of a host organism is critical for the development of therapeutic agents to fight disease. The LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease conducts basic and translational research into the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infections and strategies for their prophylaxis and therapy. The LaMontagne Center was established at The University of Texas at Austin in November 2013 as the Center for Infectious Disease (CID) and was renamed just over three years later for scientist and public health champion John Ring LaMontagne. The LaMontagne Center, while located within the College of Natural Sciences, is composed of highly interdisciplinary researchers spanning at least four colleges: Natural Sciences, Engineering, Pharmacy, and the Dell Medical School.
Infectious Disease News
Jason McLellan, UT Austin molecular biosciences professor, has received the 2021 Shirley Bird Perry Longhorn Citizenship Award, recognizing the wide-reaching impact of his work with viral proteins, especially his contributions to COVID-19 vaccines. The award is given annually by UT Austin's Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life.
Imagine biological and chemical imaging tools so advanced that they are able to show the molecular details of a virus as it attaches to and enters cells, or the alignment of vanishingly tiny crystals at an atomic level so as to lend insights for new solar energy technology.
Despite more than a year and a half of research, there are still many unknowns about how the virus that causes COVID-19 infects human cells. A deeper understanding could lead to new treatment approaches.
Antibiotic resistance, where disease-causing bacteria evolve resistance to drugs that usually kill them, is a rising problem globally, meaning new antibiotics need to be found. However, it is difficult for researchers to know which parts of bacterial cells to target with new drugs.