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  • What Would You Fight For...?

    At the W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research, Prof. Frank Castellino is working to improve the chances of survival in cases of trauma.

  • Frank Castellino

    The director of the W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research, Frank Castellino, conducts innovative research.

  • The Fight of a Lifetime

    The W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research collaborates with Memorial Hospital trauma physicians to save lives.


New avenues found for treatment of pathogen behind diseases including fasciitis, toxic shock syndrome

Author: William G. Gilroy

Scanning electron micrograph of red blood cell hemolysis by the Streptolysin S producing Group A Streptococcus. Credit: Shaun Lee, Dustin Higashi

One bacterial pathogen is responsible for a range of diseases, from pharyngitis and impetigo to more severe diagnoses such as toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease), a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. The pathogen, known as Group A Streptococcus, remains a global health burden with an estimated 700 million cases reported annually, and more than half a million deaths due to severe infections.

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Congratulations Dr. Chandrahas and Dr. Kunda on Achieving Your PhDs

Author: Deborah Donahue

Vishwanatha Chandrahas

Vishwanatha Chandrahas

While at the Keck Center, Vishwanatha studied Group A streptococcus (GAS).  GAS is a human specific pathogen which causes trivial infections e.g., sore throat and impetigo, as well lethal infections e.g., necrotizing fasciitis and rheumatic heart disease. In order to infect its host, GAS expresses several pathogenic proteins like streptokinase (SK) which is secreted to the surrounding environment and M or M-like proteins which are embedded on cell membrane. M or M-like proteins are used as a basis for serotyping GAS strains into >250 types. GAS uses these proteins to exploit functional host fibrinolytic system for their own advantage. M or M-like proteins (e.g. M1 and PAM, respectively) tightly bind human plasminogen (hPg) and fibrinogen. SK secreted by GAS non-proteolytically activates hPg to a broad spectrum serine protease, plasmin (hPm), localizing proteolytic activity of hPm to GAS surface. hPm can break tissue barriers and assists GAS to invade tissue barriers and disseminate into deeper tissues.…

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The 1st Joint Meeting of ISFP and PA Workshop

Location: Shizuoka, Japan

XXIIIrd International Congress on Fibrinolysis & Proteolysis

XVIth International Workshop on Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plasminogen Activation

October 17-21, 2016

Sponsored by Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

International Advisory Board Includes:

Dr. Francis Castellino and Dr. Victoria Ploplis…

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