Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Washington University School of Medicine
Center for Women’s Infectious Diseases (cWIDR)
Dr. Henderson research has focused on the role of biofilms in urinary tract infections. He has developed new analytical techniques to better diagnose and treat infectious diseases. His productivity during his BIRCWH training was exceptional, as evidenced by 19 publications. These included a first-author manuscript in PLOS Pathogens detailing novel metabolic phenotyping of uropathogenic bacteria and another high profile paper on how uropathogenic Escherichia coli evade copper toxicity in Nature Chemical Biology that was featured in an accompanying News and Views. He is the recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award for Medical Scientists, an extremely competitive mechanism for support. He was recently promoted to Assistant Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology as the first faculty hire in the Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research. Dr. Henderson recently obtained RO1 funding for his work that was initially driven by BIRCWH support.
BIRCWH Scholar from 01/01/2008 until 12/31/2012
The impact of siderophore-mediated iron acquisition by E. coli on urinary tract infection in young women
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a significant cause of morbidity worldwide and disproportionately affect young women. E. coli is the predominant cause of uncomplicated UTI and studies of clinical isolates have suggested that the ability to cause UTI correlates with acquisition of genes for uptake of siderophores – a chemically diverse family of small molecules that as functions iron scavengers. If true, therapeutic modulation of siderophore systems of the innate host defenses directed against them may be viable therapeutic or prophylactic strategies. I propose to test the hypothesis that competition for iron between siderophore systems and host defenses plays a critical role in urinary tract infection pathogenesis and recurrence. The proposed research will use a combined bacterial genetic and metabolomic approach in conjunction with in vitro, mouse cystitis, and patient-oriented studies directed toward themes of pathogen virulence and persistence.
- To determine which siderophore systems are selected among UTI-associated strains and how these systems impact virulence-associated functions
- To identify the innate defenses driving selection of virulence-associated siderophore systems