Guangchun Bai, MD PhD

Associate Professor
Immunology and Microbial Disease

Areas of Study

Bacterial pathogenesis


  • Fourth Military Medical University, China1999PhD
  • Fourth Military Medical University, China1991MD


Our work focuses on bacterial pathogenesis. Currently we are interested in two pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The long-term objective of this laboratory is to better understand the molecular basis of these pathogens for establishing effective strategies of prevention and therapy. We generally employ multiple approaches including genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and cellular biology to study these pathogens.

M. tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis, which has successfully infected about one-fourth of the world’s population. Although an attenuated vaccine, M. bovis BCG, was available almost a century ago and anti-tubercular drugs have been exploited for many decades, the current strategies are still inadequate to control the prevalence. For this pathogen, our primary interest focuses on how cyclic nucleotides, especially c-di-AMP and c-di-GMP, contribute to the bacterial pathogenesis at molecular and cellular levels. Based on our findings, we are exploring strategies to develop novel vaccine candidates against tuberculosis.

S. pneumoniae is a commensal of the human respiratory tract, but it can still cause a variety of infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis, otitis media and bacteremia. Although a plethora of virulence determinants have been recognized in this pathogen, it remains largely unknown about how metabolic pathways enable the pathogen to acquire nutrients and cause diseases. Our recent results showed that c-di-AMP plays an important role in pneumococcal physiology and virulence. This di-nucleotide controls ion transport, stress response, and competence of S. pneumoniae. Current research is focused on c-di-AMP signaling mechanism in S. pneumoniae.