Rodney (Rod) Welch

Position title: Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology & Immunology



1974 – B.S., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
1979 – Ph.D., Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA
1980-81 – Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1981-82 – Postdoctoral fellowship, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Areas of Study

Bacterial Pathogenesis

Research Overview

In our laboratory, we study the structure, function, secretion, regulation and pathogenetic mechanism of the E. coli hemolysin and other members of the broad family of Repeats in Toxin (RTX) family and its associated Type I exoprotein secretion pathway.  Our current work involves studying host cell factors affected by the E. coli hemolysin.  We have made a CRISPr-Cas9 mutant library of a human monocytic cell line (U937) and isolated a set of E. coli hemolysin resistant U937 mutants.  Currently, we are characterizing potential receptors and host cell-signal pathways in the U937 mutant library. We have a large collection of hemolysin missense, nonsense and in-frame mutants of the hemolysin which are being used in conjunction with the U937 mutants.  We are also involved in a collaboration with Dr. Tricia Kiley to examine the regulatory pathways of four global gene regulators in uropathogenic E. coli strain CFT073. We are using CHIP-seq, RNA seq and mass spectrometry techniques to discern these pathways and their interconnections.  Lastly, we are participating in large collaborative group, the NIH U-19 Center for Excellence in Translational Research entitled “Antimicrobial Drug Discovery from Coevolved Symbiotic Communities.” We are responsible for identification of the mode of action of small molecule natural products with anti-bacterial activity.