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cWIDR Leadership Team

The Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research is an interdisciplinary effort to establish a new field of research on communicable diseases that affect women and girls. From its inception, the cWIDR has teamed up with several departments to sponsor new faculty recruitments to the Center to form a team of core investigators developing research programs directly in this field.

In addition, the cWIDR includes member faculty from many schools and departments within Washington University.

Scott J. Hultgren, PhD  

Scott J. Hultgren, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research

Dr. Hultgren holds the Helen Lehbrink Stoever Endowed Professorship in Molecular Microbiology. His major research focus has been the discovery of bacterial and host mechanisms that determine the onset, course and outcome of  urinary tract infections (UTIs), one of the most common infections in women, responsible for billions of dollars of health care costs each year.

Using a broad multi-disciplinary approach, including genetics, genomics, biochemistry, X-ray crystallography, cell biology and animal models, he has established new paradigms in the pathogenesis of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC).  Dr. Hultgren’s work is leading to the design of novel anti-virulence compounds, biofilm inhibitors and a vaccine that hold promise as alternative therapies for millions of women suffering from UTI syndromes.

Mikeael G. Caparon, Jr., PhD  

Michael G. Caparon, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research

Dr. Caparon is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology whose esearch is directed at understanding the complex interactions that occur between pathogenic gram positive bacteria and their human hosts during infection. His group is particularly interested in the organism Streptococcus pyogenes, the causative agent of a number of serious diseases including, pharangytis ("strep throat"), impetigo, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever and acute glomerulonephritis. Symptoms and long term complications of rheumatic fever are more common in women and girls. Dr. Caparon’s work is identifying adhesive proteins and other secreted molecules involved in S. pyogenes infection that are ideal targets for the development of anti-virulence therapies.

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