Over the past 60 years, despite the availability of antibiotics, infectious bacterial diseases have continued to cause massive global morbidity and mortality. Currently, infectious bacterial diseases account for more than 10 million deaths each year.
The problem is growing every day due to the lack of effective vaccines, rapidly increasing rates of antibiotic resistance, the emergence of new pathogens and the re-emergence of "old" pathogens in new guises.
The McDevitt laboratory is committed to dealing with infectious bacterial diseases in the 21st century using a two-pronged approach involving the development of cheaper and more effective vaccines, as well as engineering novel antibacterial drugs. These challenges require a thorough understanding of the biology of disease and the complex interaction between the bacterial pathogen and its host in order to develop the next generations of vaccines and drugs.