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Delfina Dominguez

 
420
Health Sciences and Nursing Building
El Paso Texas, 79968
Homedelfina@utep.edu
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Delfina C Dominguez
Professor, Clinical Laboratory Sciences - Interdisciplinary Health Sciences - Bioinformatics

The overarching focus of my research is in Infectious Diseases. The main areas of interest include: molecular diagnostics (detection of pathogens and biomarkers of resistance), clinical microbiology (antimicrobial resistance) and microbial physiology (investigate the role of calcium (Ca2+) in bacteria and its potential link to infection and pathogenesis).1) Molecular diagnostics, which comprises various techniques to analyze biological specimens, has become very popular during the last few years due to its high accuracy and fast diagnostic capabilities. Our objective is to design, develop and validate point of care devices (POC) for the rapid diagnosis of various pathogenic organisms. The driving notion behind the POC testing is to offer testing that is accurate, fast, low cost and portable. POC testing can be offered in a variety of settings including bedside in hospitals and clinics, physicians’ offices and low resource areas.2) One of the biggest public health challenges of our times is antibiotic resistance (AR). Resistance to antibacterial agents in healthcare settings is an increasing contributor to morbidity, mortality and rising healthcare costs. Many bacteria have become multidrug resistant (MDR). Therefore, there is a critical need to understand how antimicrobial resistance evolves, mobilizes and is disseminated into the environment. Our objective is to characterize bacterial populations and analyze mobile genetic elements in selected environmental settings in our border area (El Paso, TX, New Mexico and Cd. Juárez, México). We also are very interested in developing new molecular methods for the rapid detection of MDR bacteria in order to provide effective treatment.3) Calcium (Ca2+) is recognized as a key cell regulator in eukaryote cells. Current understanding is that Ca2+ only act as cell regulators in eukaryotes. However, previous research has established that in bacteria, Ca2+ plays a role in chemotaxis, transport mechanisms, cell differentiation, virulence and gene expression. During infection and inflammation processes, levels of Ca2+ fluctuate significantly, which may impact host-pathogen interactions. Our objective is to study Ca2+ signaling in bacteria and explore the potential regulation of multidrug resistant pumps in Staphylococcus aureus.

KEYWORDS

  1. Molecular Biology
  2. Microbiology
  3. Infectious Diseases
  4. Clinical Immunology

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