Foster cropped  

Timothy P. Foster, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology

533 Bolivar St., CSRB 522
New Orleans, LA  70112


Research Interests

The Foster lab investigates cellular and molecular virus-host interactions that can be utilized to simultaneously inhibit pathogen replication and suppress deleterious host-mediated inflammatory responses, especially within the eye. To ensure visual clarity and acuity, the eye is normally maintained as an avascular immunologically privileged organ.  However, infection of the ocular surface by common viral or bacterial pathogens can result in vision-threatening vascularization and host-mediated inflammatory responses that cannot be resolved by current anti-pathogen treatment regimens.  Through our studies, we have developed targeted therapeutics that modulate host metabolic pathways that are required for both pathogen replication and induction of inflammation-associated disease sequelae (US patent applications 61/664,464, 13/828,669, & 14/039909 and international patent application PCT/US13/31623 by Foster et al.).     These approaches are unlike current drugs in that: 1) Disruption of these pathways prevents replication of a broad range of intracellular pathogens, including most viruses and some bacteria such as Chlamydia; 2) Targeting of host pathways, rather than pathogen-specific mechanisms, constrains development of drug resistance; 3) They can be used for treatment of current drug resistant pathogens; 4) They block formation of vision-threatening host-mediated sequelae by modulating inflammatory responses; 5) They inhibit pathological vascularization, a current area of intense research for ophthalmic, as well as for anti-cancer therapeutics; 6) They promote healing of traumatic wounds induced either surgically or through pathogen replication.   Therefore, our lab’s efforts have broad reaching implications that go far beyond exploring a single pathogen or disease presentation.  Consequently, we employ a broad range of cellular and molecular techniques, as well as animal models in order to discern therapeutic efficacy of a drug and its potential mechanisms of action.

Selected Publications

For list of publications, click here.