Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a bacterium that causes gastroenteritis, a type of food poisoning characterized by abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Most Salmonella infections arise from oral ingestion of tainted food or water and are a significant cause of disease and death in animals and humans worldwide. Dr. Brian Coombes is studying the molecular mechanisms by which Salmonella use virulence factors to modify their host environment. Once injected into mammalian host cells, these virulence factors rearrange and reprogram the cells so that Salmonella can replicate and evade the body’s immune system. Learning more about how bacteria use specific virulence factors to manipulate their environment during infection may lead to the design of new therapeutic strategies to treat or block the disease process.