Victor Nizet, M.D. is a pediatric physician-scientist who as of 2013 was Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in La Jolla, California. He is known for research in the areas of molecular microbiology and the innate immune system, with a particular focus on infectious diseases caused by common Gram-positive bacterial pathogens such as Group A Streptococcus, Group B Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.
Nizet's laboratory applies molecular genetic approaches to discover and characterize bacterial virulence factors involved in host cell injury, epithelial adherence, cellular invasion, inflammation, molecular mimicry and resistance to immunologic clearance. They focus on the function of host phagocytic cells, such as macrophages and neutrophils, to understand the contribution of host factors such as antimicrobial peptides, leukocyte surface receptors, signal transduction pathways, and transcription factors in defense against invasive bacterial infection. Through these complementary approaches, novel treatment strategies for infectious diseases are envisioned that involve targeted neutralization of bacterial virulence phenotypes or pharmacologic augmentation of host phagocyte function.