Dr. Vanessa D'Costa

Dr. Vanessa D'Costa
Dr. Vanessa D'Costa
Assistant Professor

BSc, McMaster University
PhD, McMaster University
Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Hospital for Sick Children

Roger Guindon Hall, Room 4220 (office), 4221 (lab)
613-562-5800 ext. 4541


Research Interests

Our lab is interested in understanding the intricate host-microbe relationships underlying bacterial infection.

Symbiotic relationships, involving close interactions between different organisms, exist everywhere in nature and are an important part of every ecosystem and ecological niche, including our own. Within our bodies, we form symbiotic relationships with bacteria. This includes interactions with both our microbiome and the pathogens that cause infection, and ultimately results in the survival of the bacterium within the host. We are especially interested in understanding how bacteria use a specialized class of virulence factors called effectors to manipulate host cell processes and mediate infection. We use a combination of cell biological, biochemical, and molecular genetic techniques to study host-microbe relationships, and take advantage of fluorescence microscopy approaches to monitor both host and microbe during infection.

Understanding host-microbe interactions at a molecular level can provide important clues as to how we can target infectious microbes therapeutically. It can also provide us with new tools to study host cell biology, and uncover new fundamental processes that contribute to the host cellular immune response.

If you are interested in joining the D’Costa Laboratory, please send your CV to [email protected].

Selected Publications:

Research interests

  • Host-Microbe Interactions
  • Bacterial Pathogens
  • Microbiology
  • Cell biology
  • Antimicrobial drug discovery
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Acinetobacter baumannii