Department of Microbiology

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Faculty Profile

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Jeffrey N. Weiser, M.D.

Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology

Contact information
402A Johnson Pavilion
Department of Microbiology
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076
Office: 215-573-3511
Fax: 215-573-4856
Graduate Group Affiliations
Education:
B.S. (Biological Sciences)
Stanford University, 1979.
M.D.
Harvard University, 1984.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Molecular basis of infectious diseases.

Key words:
Bacterial pathogenesis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, colonization, microbial competition, co-infection.

Description of Research

The Weiser lab investigates the molecular basis of host-pathogen interaction for bacteria that reside in and infect the human respiratory tract. Most studies focus on the pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniae because of its prominence as a cause of acute respiratory tract infection. Other pathogens under investigation in the laboratory include Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and influenza. Many projects focus on colonization of the mucosal surface of the upper airway, the initial step in the disease process. Both host and bacterial factors affecting colonization are under investigation. In general these studies utilize bacterial genetics to examine effects of specific microbial genes together with mouse models of colonization that allow for the use of genetically-modified hosts.

On-going projects examine:

How colonizing microbes stimulate and evade innate and adaptive immune clearance mechanisms.
Mechanisms that facilitate interspecies competition within a host.
Mechanisms of competition between co-colonizing pneumococci.
Effects of influenza co-infection on bacterial colonization.
Pneumococcal interactions with neutrophils/macrophages and mechanisms to evade killing by professional phagocytes.
The role of phosphorycholine, a surface constituent of many respiratory tract pathogens, in pathogenesis.
Host and bacterial factors affecting host to host transmission.

Rotation Projects for 2014-15

There are many possible projects in areas of bacterial genetics, host-pathogen interaction, and host immune response. Please contact Dr. Weiser directly.

Lab personnel:
Rita Das M.D., Ph.D. – Instructor in Medicine
Jeroen Langereis Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow
Steven Siegel – Grad Student
Masamitsu Kono MD, Ph.D. – Visiting Scholar
Aimee Richard Ph.D- Postdoctoral Fellow
Christopher Hergott– Grad Student
Aoife Roche (Doto) Ph.D.– Postdoctoral Fellow
Hilary DeBardeleben – Grad Student
Jamie Lemon – Grad Student
Meredith Larose-Research Assistant
Genia Guseynova/Admin. Assistant

Selected Publications

Janoff E N, Rubins J B, Fasching C, Charboneau D, Rahkola J T, Plaut A G, Weiser J N: Pneumococcal IgA1 protease subverts specific protection by human IgA1. Mucosal immunology Jul 2013.

Clark Sarah E, Eichelberger Kara R, Weiser Jeffrey N: Evasion of killing by human antibody and complement through multiple variations in the surface oligosaccharide of Haemophilus influenzae. Molecular microbiology 88(3): 603-18, May 2013.

Lijek Rebeccah S, Luque Santiago L, Liu Qian, Parker Dane, Bae Taeok, Weiser Jeffrey N: Protection from the acquisition of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage by cross-reactive antibody to a pneumococcal dehydrogenase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(34): 13823-8, Aug 2012.

Clark Sarah E, Snow Julian, Li Jianjun, Zola Tracey A, Weiser Jeffrey N: Phosphorylcholine allows for evasion of bactericidal antibody by Haemophilus influenzae. PLoS pathogens 8(3): e1002521, 2012.

Dalia Ankur B, Weiser Jeffrey N: Minimization of bacterial size allows for complement evasion and is overcome by the agglutinating effect of antibody. Cell host & microbe 10(5): 486-96, Nov 2011.

Davis Kimberly M, Nakamura Shigeki, Weiser Jeffrey N: Nod2 sensing of lysozyme-digested peptidoglycan promotes macrophage recruitment and clearance of S. pneumoniae colonization in mice. The Journal of clinical investigation 121(9): 3666-76, Sep 2011.

Nakamura Shigeki, Davis Kimberly M, Weiser Jeffrey N: Synergistic stimulation of type I interferons during influenza virus coinfection promotes Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization in mice. The Journal of clinical investigation 121(9): 3657-65, Sep 2011.

Clarke Thomas B, Francella Nicholas, Huegel Alyssa, Weiser Jeffrey N: Invasive bacterial pathogens exploit TLR-mediated downregulation of tight junction components to facilitate translocation across the epithelium. Cell host & microbe 9(5): 404-14, May 2011.

Lysenko Elena S, Lijek Rebeccah S, Brown Sam P, Weiser Jeffrey N: Within-host competition drives selection for the capsule virulence determinant of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Current biology : CB 20(13): 1222-6, Jul 2010.

Clarke TB, Davis KM, Lysenko ES, Zhou AY, Yu Y, Weiser JN.: Recognition of peptidoglycan from the microbiota by Nod1 enhances systemic innate immunity. Nature Medicine 16(2): 228-231, Feb 2010.

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Last updated: 02/04/2014
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