Professor Ojcius uses molecular and cell biological techniques to characterize interactions between epithelial cells and intracellular pathogens. He studies the bacteria, Chlamydia, as a model system because its species represent the world's leading cause of preventable blindness, and are a common cause of respiratory and sexually-transmitted infections in humans.
His current projects are focused on how the bacteria modify signal-transduction pathways that affect programmed cell death (apoptosis) and metabolism of the host cell. Whenever possible, the physiological relevance of results obtained with cell lines are tested in a mouse model of infection. Specifically, his group is investigating: