Marcin Grabowicz, PhD

Assistant Professor

Emory University School of Medicine Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Division of Infectious Disease

Department of Medicine

Research Interests

Our lab is broadly interested in understanding how Gram-negative bacteria assemble their outer membrane (OM). The OM is an essential organelle that serves as a potent permeability barrier that prevents entry of many existing antibiotics into the cell.

The problem of antibiotic resistance is particularly acute among Gram-negative pathogens. There are very few novel drugs in the development pipeline with activity against these organisms. The OM barrier is also a major obstacle in drug discovery and development.

All of the essential molecular machines required to assemble the OM barrier require one or more lipidated proteins (lipoproteins) at the OM to function. The transport pathway that delivers these lipoproteins to the OM is therefore pivotal for all aspects of OM biogenesis. This extensive reliance on lipoprotein transport is a potential Achilles heel that can be exploited to disrupt the OM barrier.

Our lab is focused on unravelling the mechanisms underlying lipoprotein transport in Escherichia coli and are also probing this process in more divergent, clinically important organisms. We are using our insights to devise strategies that will disrupt OM assembly with novel therapeutics.