Dr. Janet E. McCombs joined the Tulane University faculty as an Assistant Professor in August 2019. She earned her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, after which she spent two years working for the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics at UW-Madison as part of the protein purification pipeline. From there, Dr. McCombs earned her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder. While at CU, she worked with fluorescent sensors and live-cell microscopy to study abrogation in calcium signaling in both Alzheimer’s disease and Salmonella infection. Interested in pursuing research in bacterial pathogens, Dr. McCombs performed her postdoctoral work at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX where she developed methods to determine specific substrates of bacterial sialidases, allowing mechanistic insight into pathogenesis. She then joined the small biotech company Affinivax, located in Cambridge, MA, as a Scientist, where she worked on developing vaccines to various bacterial infections, including a pneumococcal vaccine currently in clinical trial.
Within the Center for Translation Research in Infection and Inflammation, Dr. McCombs studies mucosal host responses to bacterial pathogens in the lung. The overall goal of her lab is to use this information to develop novel vaccines and immunotherapies for treating infections, with an initial focus on Klebsiella pneumoniae and Streptococcus pneumoniae. In addition, Dr. McCombs is interested in understanding biological sex differences that influence host response to infection to inform therapeutic development.
View Dr. McCombs’s publications at her PubMed page