cWIDR Core Faculty
Amanda L. Lewis, Ph.D. joined the cWIDR in July 2009 as Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology. Dr. Lewis’s research is focused on the evolution of associations between animals and their cohabitant bacteria and how carbohydrate molecules influence such interactions. Her lab examines the roles of carbohydrates (glycans) and the enzymes that degrade them (glycosidases) in bacterial population structure and host-microbe interactions, integrating approaches including bacterial genetic systems, analytical biochemistry and glycobiology, genomics, and cell-based and animal models of infection.
Dr. Lewis is investigating how carbohydrate structures on Group B Streptococcus (GBS) help the pathogen evade immune defenses, establish a niche, and persist in the host. GBS commonly colonizes the female urogenital tract and a leading cause of serious infections in pregnant women and newborns. Dr. Lewis’s work aims to identify and exploit carbohydrate-based host-pathogen interactions for the treatment and prevention of infection during the perinatal period.
Dr. Lewis earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and completed her postdoctoral work at University of California at San Diego where she was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow working with Victor Nizet and Ajit Varki.
Jeffrey P. Henderson, M.D., Ph.D. joined the cWIDR in August 2009 as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Henderson’s research seeks to understand how bacterial pathogens colonize their hosts and resist host defenses. His laboratory uses a variety of biochemical and microbiological techniques including quantitative mass spectrometry, chemical biology, bacterial biofilm culture, bacterial genetics, and mouse models of infection to explore infection pathophysiology.
Dr. Henderson recently found that colonizing E. coli strains that cause recurrent urinary tract infections in women acquire or optimize production of small molecules involved in iron scavenging – called siderophores. His work is suggesting new strategies for diagnosing and treating bacterial infectious diseases important to women’s health, like UTI and bacterial vaginosis.
Dr. Henderson earned his M.D. , his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics, and completed his residency and fellowship training at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) fellow and has received the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists.