H. Steven Seifert, PhD
John Edward Porter Professor of Biomedical Research
Professor of Microbiology-Immunology
Feinberg School of Medicine
Our laboratory studies the pathogenesis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. This gram-negative bacterium is an obligate human pathogen that has existed within human populations throughout recorded history. We are using a variety of molecular biological, genetic, cell biological and biochemical techniques to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling gonococcal infection, define mechanisms and pathways of DNA recombination, replication and repair in this human specific pathogen, study the interactions between gonococci and human cells, tissues and the innate immune system, and determine how the pilus functions to help mediate genetic transfer and pathogenesis. Our goal is to discover new mechanisms important for the continued existence of this microbe in the human population to further our understanding of how infectious agents have evolved to specifically infect humans.
Stohl; EA, Chan; YA, Hackett; KT, Kohler; PL, Dillard; JP, & Seifert HS (2012)"The Neisseria gonorrhoeae virulence factor NG1686 is a bifunctional M23B family metallopeptidase that influences resistance to hydrogen peroxide and colony morphology". JBC, 287:11222-11233.
Criss AC & Seifert, HS (2012) A bacterial siren song: intimate interactions between neutrophils and pathogenic Neisseria, [Review Article] Nature Microbiol Revs 10:178-190.
Cahoon, LA and Seifert, HS (2011) Focusing homologous recombination: pilin antigenic variation in the pathogenic Neisseria. [Review Article] Mol. Microbiol. 81: 1134-43.
Chen, A & Seifert HS. (2011) Neisseria gonorrhoeae-mediated inhibition of apoptotic signaling in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Infect Immun. 79: 4447-58.
Anderson, MT & Seifert, HS (2011) Opportunity and means: Horizontal gene transfer from the human host to a bacterial pathogen. Mbio 2:5-11.
Tobiason, DM and Seifert, HS (2010) The genomic content of the pathogenic Neisseria. J. Bacteriol. 192:2160-2168.
Cahoon, L & Seifert, HS. (2009) An alternative DNA structure is necessary for pilin antigenic variation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Science 325:764-767.
Criss, AK, Katz, BZ & Seifert HS, (2009) Resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to non-oxidative killing by adherent human polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Cell Microbiol. 11:1074-1087.