Ryan S. Doster, MD

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Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Research Description

        1. Dr. Doster conducts translational research focused on understanding how bacterial pathogens such as Group B Streptococcus are able to colonize host mucosal surfaces such as the vagina as an initial step in causing disease. The Doster lab utilizes in vitro cell culture models, human tissue models, animal models, and high-resolution microscopy to understand how changes in host nutrition (such as in diabetes or micronutrient deficiency) may alter bacterial and host innate immune responses leading to disease. As part of this paradigm, our lab investigates nutrient influence on bacterial biofilm formation to understand how biofilms may promote tissue colonization and resistance to host immune responses.   Recent publications can be found here.
 Interests:  Perinatal Infections, host-pathogen interactions, microbial pathogenesis, Streptococcal infections, biofilms, innate immune responses to bacterial infections.
Brief Description
The goal of Dr. Doster’s research is to understand mechanisms by which bacteria like GBS are able to establish vaginal colonization and then ascend to cause invasive disease during pregnancy (chorioamnionitis). Bacterial infections during pregnancy lead to adverse outcomes including stillbirth, preterm birth, neonatal sepsis, and meningitis. Streptococcus agalactiae, also known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a Gram-positive bacterium that colonizes up to 50% of pregnant women. Vaginal GBS carriage is a major risk factor for chorioamnionitis and neonatal sepsis. Dr. Doster is particularly interested in the role of bacterial biofilm to promote vaginal colonization, which may increase potential for bacterial invasion, as well as how GBS interacts with and alters host-immune responses. Host inflammatory responses to infection including release of cytokines and metalloproteinases that contribute to preterm birth pathogenesis. By understanding these pathways, Dr. Doster hopes to identify new, actionable targets to prevent adverse outcomes during pregnancy. He utilizes multiple methodologies to understand microbial-host interactions during pregnancy, including high-resolution microscopy techniques, animal models of pregnancy infection, and human tissue chorioamnionitis models.


MD - Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
PhD - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
BA - Hanover College, Hanover, IN