Laurence Rahme, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Surgery

Microbiology and Immunobiology

Harvard Medical School

(617)724-5003 Fax:(617)724-8558

email: rahme at

Department of Surgery

Director of Molecular Surgical Lab

50 Blossom Street

Thier Research Bldg. Room 340

Massachusetts General Hospital

Boston, MA 02114


Our Goals:

To obtain new understandings of critical molecular pathways and mechanisms that underlie specific host-pathogen interactions; and the concomitant development of novel and effective anti-infective reagents that block pathogenesis but not cell viability, which limits the utility of current antibiotic therapeutics.

Current Research Projects:

Molecular Basis of Cell-to-Cell Communication & Infochemical Synthesis

Intra-species, inter-species, and inter-kingdom communication

Bacterial quorum sensing regulation in vivo and in polymicrobial settings

Cooperative behavior in bacterial populations and cell fate

Low molecular weight infochemical identification, synthesis, and inhibition

Antibiotic Tolerance

Regulation of persister cell formation

Persistent/Relapsing Infections

Non-Vertebrate and Vertebrate Models of Acute and Chronic Infection

to Interrogate:

Immuno-inflammatory & Metabolic responses to infection and trauma

Identification and Development of Novel Therapeutic Approaches

Bacterial cell-to-cell communication inhibitors

Anti-Virulence Inhibitors; Antibiotic Tolerance Inhibitors

Host-Protective Interventions: Immune Potentiation; Early biomarkers of susceptibility to infection.

Project Overviews

Molecular Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aruginosa

The "copper rust" blue-green opportunistic pathogen.

Cystic Fibrosis Lung Infections

P. aeruginosa infection of CF patients.

Anti-infective Chemicals

Novel anti-infective compounds to combat bacterial pathogens.

Burn Trauma

Host Response to Injury and burn wound infection

Drosophila Infection Model

P. aeruginosa PA14 is pathogenic in Drosophila.

Plant Infection Model

P. aeruginosa PA14 is pathogenic in Arabidopsis.


HMS Microbiology and Immunology

We are microbiologists.

Shriners Hospitals for Children

Our research will help children burn victims.

Molecular Biology at MGH

We are molecular biologists.

Division of Infectious Diseases at MGH

We study infectious disease at lung, wound and others.

Microbial Science at Harvard

We study bacterial pathogenesis.

Chemical Biology

We study anti-infective chemical compounds.

The MGH Burn Research Center

We study burn trauma and infection of burn wound.


Drosophila Infection

Fruit flies are a good model system.

Lambda Red recombinase system

For mutagenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Arabidopsis Infection

We also use plants to study host-microbe interactions.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

We have a list of P. aeruginosa protocols.

Other Lab Protocols

For our lab members and people who are interested.