Work in the area of pain and analgesia focusing on inflammatory psin and cancer pain. Examining mechanisms of chronic pain and mechanisms of acupuncture's effects on pain, inflammattion and cancer growth.
Anatomic pathology as it relates to infectious diseases, agriculture, public health and biomedical research
Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) primarily reside in the bone marrow and give rise to all blood cells. HSPCs can exit the bone marrow and enter sites of inflammation. I study the role of these cells outside of the bone marrow in a model of cutaneous Staphylococcus aureus infection. The ultimate goal is to use endogenous HSPCs for improving outcome in patients with infectious disease.
Dr. Ji's laboratory is interested in the functional genomics and molecular pathogenesis of a serious human and animal pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, and antibacterial drug discovery. Specifically, we focus on different two-component signal transduction regulatory systems and several functional unknown essential proteins. Current efforts include determination of function of critical unknown genes and regulons for bacterial growth, multidrug resistance and pathogenesis, and identification of host cell signaling pathways associated with pathogenicity during host-pathogen interaction.
I have two primary research areas: 1) understanding the mechanisms of plasmid dissemination associated with antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens; and 2) understanding the succession of the microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract related to health and development. I work primarily with multidrug resistance-encoding plasmids of E. coli and Salmonella humans and production animals. The goal of this work is to understand the spread of these plasmids within and between human and animal bacterial populations. I also work closely with the poultry industries to study the bacterial populations inhabiting the gastrointestinal tracts of turkeys and chickens. The goal of this work is to understand the succession of bacterial communities over time, and how the modulation of these communities can be achieved using non-antibiotic alternatives.
I am interested in ecology, evolution, and epidemiology of infectious agents. My group uses a combination of epidemiological, evolutionary, and molecular tools to address - pathogen-host interactions, population genetic structure of microbes, and investigations on molecular mechanisms host adaptation, enhanced transmissibility and virulence.
My primary area of research is pain mechanisms. We also have ongoing projects on neuro-immune interactions in skin and intestinal mucosa.