Laurence Rahme, MS, PhD, is the Scientific Founder of Spero Therapeutics in Cambridge , MA. Dr. Rahme received her BS in Biology from the University of Naples, Italy, and earned her Master’s in Molecular Genetics from the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics CNR and University of Naples, Italy and her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Genetics, respectively.
She has more than 20 years of experience in bacterial regulatory systems that govern virulence, including the Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS) transcription factor MvfR, which she has identified. Her research group studies pathogen and host mechanisms that mediate or restrict bacterial pathogenesis in order to obtain knowledge that can be applied toward the development of host-protective interventions targeting critical pathways. She is internationally known for pioneering the use of P. aeruginosa as a multi-host pathogen, the use of non-vertebrate hosts to study P. aeruginosa-host interactions, and the development of anti-virulence drugs that block pathogenesis but not cell viability. Such an approach will limit the use of antibiotics and it is believed that it will decrease the development of antibiotic resistance, while preserving the beneficial flora.
Dr. Rahme is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Molecular Surgical Laboratory and Associate Microbiologist in the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she started her academic carrier in 1997. Moreover, at MGH she is affiliated with the Departments of Molecular Biology and Division of Infectious Diseases. She also holds a scientific staff position at Shriners Hospital for Children, Boston. She has published many seminal manuscripts, received funding from NIH and DOD and served thus far as mentor to a total of 28 post-doctoral research fellows (PhD and MD). She is on the Advisory and Editorial Board of PLOS Biology, F1000 and Pathogens. She has served on several NIH review panels and also served as an Associate and ad-hoc editor or reviewer for many scientific journals.