Dr. Hui Wu
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
University of Alabama
Dr. Wu received his PHD degree from the University of Vermont. He joined the faculty of UAB School of Dentistry in June 2004 and was promoted to Professor of Dentistry and Microbiology in 2012 in the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine. Dr. Wu currently serves as Director of Program in Oral Microbiome. Dr. Wu’s research interests lie in the study of bacterial biofilm, a key virulent property of persistent and chronic bacterial infections. His laboratory focuses on investigating: 1) bacteria-bacteria interactions within biofilm community; and 2) bacterial protein glycosylation and secretion and their biological function in the biofilm formation. Dr. Wu’s laboratory employed genetic, biochemical, structural biology, and glycobiology approaches as well as animal infectious models to determine contribution of protein glycosylation to biofilm formation and to bacterial and host interactions. Dr. Wu’s research has been continuously supported by National Institutes of Health, and his group published over 40 papers in high impact scientific journals in the field such as “Molecular Microbiology”,“Journal of Biological Chemistry” and “Nature Communications”.
Sweet Journey to a Sugar Coated Trail: Bacterial Protein Glycosylation and Secretion
Dr. Wu’s research focuses on studying formation and development of bacterial biofilms. In his talk, Dr. Wu will use oral streptococcal bacteria as a model to illustrate how bacteria sugar coat their important adhesin molecules, serine-rich repeat glycoproteins. The serine-rich repeat glycoproteins Dr. Wu first identified belong to a growing family of bacterial adhesins and are highly conserved in gram-positive bacteria. Using genetic, biochemical, glycomics and structural biology approaches, Dr. Wu’s group has dissected a sequential glycosylation pathway and discovered a number of new glycosyltransferases. The function of this newly recognized pathway in bacterial host interactions will be discussed.