Hot off the PRess


June 2021

Genetic Variation of Staphylococcal LukAB Toxin Determines Receptor Tropism

Perelman S, James D, Boguslawski K, Nelson C, Ilmain J, Zwack E, Prescott R, Mohamed A, Tam K, Chan R, Narechania A, Pawline M, Vozhilla N, Moustafa A, Kim SY, Dittmann M, Ekiert DC, Bhabha G, Shopsin B, Planet P, Koralov SB and Torres VJ.


Eight main lineages of the S. aureus toxin LukAB were identified, and while the large majority of the LukAB variants require the host receptor CD11b to kill cells, the toxins produced by the CC30 & CC45 S. aureus lineages kill human phagocytes regardless of CD11b. Through a whole-genome CRISPR/Cas9 screen,  together with functional studies, the Hydrogen Voltage Gated Channel 1 (HVCN1) was identified as a novel host receptor for LukAB and a novel humanized HVCN1 mouse was subsequently developed to study LukAB virulence in vivo.

April 2021

Vaccination with Detoxified Leukocidin AB Reduces Bacterial Load in a Staphylococcus aureus Minipig Deep Surgical Wound Infection Model

Fernandez J, Sanders H, Henn J, Wilson JM, Malone D, Buoninfante A, Willms M, Chan RDuMont A, McLahan C, Grubb K, Romanello A, van den Dobbelsteen G, J T Poolman and Torres VJ and Poolman JT.

A novel deep surgical wound infection model in minipigs better mimics Staphylococcus aureus infection in humans and shows vaccination with a LukAB toxoid successfully mitigates S. aureus wound infections.

December 2020

Identification of a domain critical for Staphylococcus aureus LukED receptor targeting and lysis of erythrocytes

Vasquez MT, Lubkin A, Reyes-Robles T, Day CJ, Lacey KA, Jennings MP and Torres VJ.

A domain within the LukE subunit of the S. aureus toxin LukED targets the DARC receptor on red blood cells to promote hemolysis and is also important for targeting Darc in vivo. 

September 2020

Targeting leukocidin-mediated immune evasion protects mice from Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia

Tam K, Lacey KA, Devlin JC, Coffre M, Sommerfield A, Chan R, O'Malley A, Koralov SB, Loke P and Torres VJ.

Leukocidins are secreted as immune evasion molecules, by vaccinating mice against the leukocidins, mice are protected from lethal S. aureus bacteremia.

June 2020

Convergent Evolution of Neutralizing Antibodies to Staphylococcus aureus γ-Hemolysin C That Recognize an Immunodominant Primary Sequence-Dependent B-Cell Epitope

Hernandez DN, Tam K, Shopsin B, Radke E, Law K, Cardozo T, Torres VJ, and Silverman GJ.

Phage display technology identified an immune dominant region of HlgC required for cytotoxicity from a panel of anti-HlgC monoclonal antibodies that is immunogenic in both humans and mice.

Distinct Features of Human Myeloid Cell Cytokine Response Profiles Identify Neutrophil Activation by Cytokines as a Prognostic Feature during Tuberculosis and Cancer

Devlin JC, Zwack EE, Tang MS, Li Z, Fenyo D, Torres VJ, Ruggles KV and Loke P.

The transcriptional responses of 4 different human myeloid cell types were defined to stimulation with a panel of cytokines and then applied the resulting gene signatures to assess the biological and clinical relevance of the different stimulated myeloid cells in the context of Tuberculosis and glioma.

March 2020

Exploiting species specificity to understand the tropism of a human-specific toxin.

Boguslawski KM, McKeown AN, Day CJ, Lacey KA, Tam K, Vozhilla N, Kim SY, Jennings MP, Koralov SB, Elde NC, and Torres VJ.

Development of a mouse expressing a humanized version of CD11b, the receptor for the human-specific S. aureus toxin LukAB, provides a much-needed model to study the role of this toxin in vivo.

Decoy exosomes provide protection against bacterial toxins.

Keller MD, Ching KL, Liang FX, Dhabaria A, Tam K, Ueberheide BM, Unutmaz D, Torres VJ, and Cadwell K.

Bacteria induce host cells to secrete exosomes containing bacterial toxin receptors, which serve as scavengers for bacterial toxins and provide  protection from toxin-mediated cell death. 

Autophagy and microbial pathogenesis.

Keller MDTorres VJ, Cadwell K.

Review on the role of autophagy proteins in host-microbe interactions and how cell biology informs pathogenicity studies involving of both viral and bacterial pathogens.

February 2020

Unbiased identification of immunogenic Staphylococcus aureus leukotoxin B-cell epitopes.

Hernandez DN, Tam K, Shopsin B, Radke E, Kolahi P, Copin R, Stubbe FX, Cardozo T, Torres VJ, and Silverman GJ.

An unbiased approach utilizing phage display to perform rapid screening of a recombinant antigen library against monoclonal antibodies identified a  S. aureus leukotoxin epitope that is both cross-reactive and immunogenic.

July 2019

The purine biosynthesis regulator PurR moonlights as a virulence regulator in Staphylococcus aureus.

Sause WE, Balasubramanian D, Irnov I, Copin R, Sullivan MJ, Sommerfield A, Chan R, Dhabaria A, Askenazi M, Ueberheide B, Shopsin B, van Bakel H, and Torres VJ.

The canonical metabolism regulator PurR can also  influence S. aureus pathogenesis by directly regulating virulence genes.

March 2019

Staphylococcus aureus Secreted Toxins and Extracellular Enzymes.

Tam K, and Torres VJ.

Book chapter providing a brief overview of our current understanding of the major secreted virulence factors critical for S. aureus pathogenesis.

Staphylococcus aureus Leukocidins Target Endothelial DARC to Cause Lethality in Mice.

Lubkin A, Lee WL, Alonzo F 3rd, Wang C, Aligo J, Keller M, Girgis NM, Reyes-Robles T, Chan R, O'Malley A, Buckley P, Vozhilla N, Vasquez MT, Su J, Sugiyama M, Yeung ST, Coffre M, Bajwa S, Chen E, Martin P, Kim SY, Loomis C, Worthen GS, Shopsin B, Khanna KM, Weinstock D, Lynch AS, Koralov SB, Loke P, Cadwell K, Torres VJ.

S. aureus leukocidins target endothelial cells via DARC causing organ damage during bloodstream infection.

January 2019

Identification of biologic agents to neutralize the bicomponent leukocidins of Staphylococcus aureus.

Chan R, Buckley PT, O'Malley A, Sause WE, Alonzo F 3rd, Lubkin A, Boguslawski KM, Payne A, Fernandez J, Strohl WR, Whitaker B, Lynch AS, Torres VJ.

Small protein biologics called centyrins can be engineered to combat the toxicity caused by systemic S. aureus infection.

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NYU Langone School of Medicine Press Release

Sequential evolution of virulence and resistance during clonal spread of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Copin R, Sause WE, Fulmer Y, Balasubramanian D, Dyzenhaus S, Ahmed JM, Kumar K, Lees J, Stachel A, Fisher JC, Drlica K, Phillips M, Weiser JN, Planet PJ, Uhlemann AC, Altman DR, Sebra R, van Bakel H, Lighter J, Torres VJ, Shopsin B.

Rapid clonal spread of S. aureus within a high-risk community created intense selective pressure on the pathogen for increased virulence and antibiotic resistance.

Staphylococcus aureus Impairs the Function of and Kills Human Dendritic Cells via the LukAB Toxin.

Berends ETM, Zheng X, Zwack EE, Ménager MM, Cammer M, Shopsin B, Torres VJ.

Leukocidin AB hinders the adaptive immune response to S. aureus infection by  killing dendritic cells (DCs) and impairing DC-mediated activation and proliferation of T cells.

September 2018

Hierarchy of human IgG recognition within the Staphylococcus aureus immunome.


Radke EE, Brown SM, Pelzek AJ, Fulmer Y, Hernandez DN, Torres VJ, Thomsen IP, Chiang WK, Miller AO, Shopsin B, Silverman GJ.

Characterization of the human serum IgG response to an array of S. aureus proteins reveals the predominant IgG response to S. aureus is to a subset of secreted factors, which is informative for better vaccine development.

Genome Plasticity of agr-Defective Staphylococcus aureus during Clinical Infection.

Altman DR, Sullivan MJ, Chacko KI, Balasubramanian D, Pak TR, Sause WE, Kumar K, Sebra R, Deikus G, Attie O, Rose H, Lewis M, Fulmer Y, Bashir A, Kasarskis A, Schadt EE, Richardson AR, Torres VJ, Shopsin B, van Bakel H.

S. aureus strains deficient in the major virulence regulator agr acquire additional mutations to bypass the agr-defective mutation and promote virulence.

June 2021

Congratulations to Daiane for receiving the Pew Latin American Fellowship! 

Welcome Rotation Students: Alan & Teni!

April 2021

Welcome Rotation Student: Xiao Ma!


February 2021

Welcome Rotation Student: Julia Sproch!


January 2021

Congratulations to Ashley on her promotion to Senior Research Scientist!

November 2020

Welcome to the lab Daiane!


September 2020

Welcome to the lab Amelia!


August 2020

Welcome to the lab Andy!


June 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Keller for successfully defending your thesis!


December 2019

Happy Holidays

from the Torres Lab!


Congrats to

Dr. Kayan Tam on successfully defending your thesis!


November 2019

Welcome to the lab Sandra!


June 2019

Welcome to the lab Juliana, Exene, Rachel, Anna, and Krystal!


May 2019

Congrats to

Dr. Kristina Boguslawski 

on successfully defending your thesis!


April 2019

Welcome Rotation Students

Exene Anderson and Krystal Ching!


February 2019

Happy International Women in Science Day!

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January 2019

Victor Torres is now on Twitter!


Welcome Rotation Student Rachel Prescott!

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December 2018

The Torres Lab Survives 10 Years!


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September 2018

Congrats Victor on your "NYU Langone Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award"! 

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Congrats to Dr. Ashira Lubkin on successfully defending your thesis!


August 2018

Welcome Rotation Student Juliana Ilmain!


September 2021

Congratulations to Victor for the prestigious honor of being named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow!