Olsen Lab

The research in Dr. Olsen’s laboratory is focused on studying the molecular pathogenesis of invasive group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections, such as necrotizing fasciitis (NF, also termed the “flesh eating infection”). During the past several years, marked advances have occurred in the study of GAS genetics and epidemiology, but overall knowledge of the key molecular pathways and host-pathogen interactions mediating GAS virulence in invasive deep soft tissue infections remains largely incomplete.

Dr. Olsen’s laboratory uses an integrated molecular approach to study transcriptional regulators and virulence factors important for GAS NF.  Whole genome sequence analysis, genome wide transcript analysis (RNA sequencing), Luminex-based human serum protein profiling, tissue microarray examination, flow cytometric analysis, in vivo molecular imaging, quantitative microbial culture, and in vitro immunologic assays are used for the detailed study of specimens derived from preclinical models and human patients.

The long-term goal is to leverage knowledge gained to aid the development of new diagnostic tools, vaccine strategies, and therapeutic agents that will significantly improve patient care.

Dr. Olsen is also the director for the Molecular Diagnostics Core at the Houston Methodist Research Institute that provides access to advanced instrumentation for gene expression analysis, SNP genotyping, capillary electrophoresis, and other molecular assays.

Randall Olsen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology and Genomic Medicine
Institute for Academic Medicine