Prof. Helen Wing and her group focus on the molecular mechanisms that control virulence gene expression in bacterial pathogens. We primarily study these events in Shigella species, the causal agents of bacillary dysentery in humans. We are interested in the environmental cues, timing and molecular events that trigger virulence gene expression. Since Shigella species are fast becoming resistant to many commonly used antibiotics, there is a pressing need to improve our understanding of events underpinning the pathogenesis of these bacteria, so that new drug targets and ultimately new antibiotics can be found. This is the goal of our research.