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Delfina Dominguez

 
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Health Sciences and Nursing Building
El Paso Texas, 79968
Homedelfina@utep.edu
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Curriculum Vitae

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Delfina Dominguez
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Professor, Clinical Laboratory Sciences

The focus of my work is in bacterial physiology and pathogenesis. Dr. Domínguez lab investigates the role of calcium (Ca2+) in bacteria and its potential link to infection and antimicrobial resistance. During infection, metal levels change significantly affecting host-pathogen interactions. Bacterial pathogens must possess mechanisms to adapt and survive in harsh environments such as high calcium levels. Our focus is to study Ca2+ sensing proteins, Ca2+-binders, Ca2+ transporters and corresponding genes. Results from our laboratory suggest that some proteins that are vital for various metabolic processes may be regulated by calcium. Furthermore, some proteins are associated to various transporters associated are up or down-regulated by external calcium ion concentrations. The ultimate goal then is to understand the role of calcium in prokaryotes and potentially discover new targets for therapeutics. Resistance to antibacterial agents in healthcare settings is an increasing contributor to morbidity, mortality and rising healthcare costs. Many bacteria have become multidrug resistant therefore there is a critical need for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat antibiotic resistant infections. I also have a great interest in the detection and prevention of pertussis infection as well as other infectious diseases such H. pylori and methicillin resistant S. aureus. Currently we have active collaborations with other investigators to develop and validate point of care devices for the rapid identification of pathogens as well as clinical biomarkers. We are testing bio-inspired synthetic polymers that may have antimicrobial effects against various bacteria and we are looking into antimicrobial efflux mechanisms.

KEYWORDS

  1. Clinical immunology
  2. Infectious diseases
  3. Microbiology
  4. Molecular Biology

UTEP STRATEGIC AREAS

  1. Health & Biomedical Sciences and Engineering
  2. Cross-cutting: Emerging Technologies: Information Technology, Biotechnology & Nanotechnology