Identifying virulence strategists in uropathogenic E.coli

UPECsiderophoresOur first paper from our collaboration with the Henderson Lab in Infectious Diseases at Washington University in St.Louis recently appeared in ACS Infectious Diseases. In this work, we applied tools of community detection in networks and data biclustering to identify virulence gene patterns in a population of UTI-causing clinical E.coli isolates. Using these methods, we showed that siderophore genes appear in virulence “strategists” groups and that these groups correspond with variations in antibiotic resistance and patient sex.

This collaboration has been both personally and professionally rewarding for me. Professionally, it is exciting to see our data analysis methods translated closer to clinical relevance, and we will continue to push this direction to make it even more so. Personally, it’s been a lot of fun to write a paper with an old friend: Jeff and I first met probably in 1987 (I think) but this is our first joint publication together. I just have to guess that this nearly 28 years is going to be my lifetime personal record for time to first publication (conditional of course on there being a publication—spoken like a mathematician).

With congratulations to all involved, we look forward to continued output from this interdisciplinary collaboration!