Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Patrick Woida, PhD

Dr. Woida studies the foodborne pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Shigella flexneri that enter and replicate within human cells. These bacteria also directly infect neighboring cells by pushing against the host cell membrane to form long membrane protrusions that extend and eventually release the bacteria into the new cell. This process of cell-to-cell spread requires the bacteria to hijack intercellular signaling pathways to reshape the host cell membrane. These signaling pathways normally regulate human cell adhesion and motility, and their dysregulation promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Dr. Woida’s goal is to uncover the unique mechanisms by which these pathogens remodel the host cell membrane to gain insight into how the co-opted intercellular signaling pathways function under both healthy conditions and tumor progression. Dr. Woida received his PhD from Northwestern University and his BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Project title: "Functional dissection of the bacterial-host interface during cell-to-cell spread"
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Rebecca Lamason, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Microbiology