Personal profile


Specialty: Microbiology

Primary Appointment: Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences

Academic Background

2001-2002 Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

1997-2001 Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Iowa

1995-1997 M.S. Biology, Texas State University

1990-1995 B.S. Zoology, University of Texas at Austin


2013-Present Professor, University of Texas at Austin

2013-Present Director, Center for Infectious Disease

2009-2013 Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

2006-2009 Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin

2002-2006 Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma/Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Research Interests

In the Whiteley Lab, we are interested in the social lives of bacteria. Currently we are utilizing new technologies combined with classical genetic techniques to address questions about microbial physiology, ecology, virulence, and evolution. In particular, we are working on tackling the following questions:

1. How do bacteria communicate?

2. How do polymicrobial interactions impact physiology and virulence?

3. How do bacteria evolve in the host?

4. How do nutrients available at infection sites impact behavior and virulence?

 With a large variety of resources at UT Austin we are taking advantage of several unique opportunities for collaboration. With the Shear lab in the chemistry department we are using multiphoton lithography and confocal microscopy to study small microbial communities in “bacterial lobster traps” that often mimic the sizes of populations observed in nature more accurately than traditional, dense batch culture techniques. With the UT Genome Sequencing and Analysis Facility and the Texas Advanced Computing Center we are harnessing high-throughput sequencing methods including RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and transposon sequencing (Tn-Seq).

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa Medicine & Life Sciences
Genes Medicine & Life Sciences
Growth Medicine & Life Sciences
Bacteria Medicine & Life Sciences
Biofilms Medicine & Life Sciences
Infection Medicine & Life Sciences
Cystic Fibrosis Medicine & Life Sciences
Virulence Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 1997 2017

3 Citations

Arginine is a critical substrate for the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in burn wound infections

Everett, J., Turner, K., Cai, Q., Gordon, V., Whiteley, M. & Rumbaugh, K. Mar 1 2017 In : mBio. 8, 2, e02160-16

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Wound Infection
Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Co-infecting microorganisms dramatically alter pathogen gene essentiality during polymicrobial infection

Ibberson, C. B., Stacy, A., Fleming, D., Dees, J. L., Rumbaugh, K., Gilmore, M. S. & Whiteley, M. May 30 2017 In : Nature Microbiology. 2, 17079

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Essential Genes
Staphylococcus aureus
1 Citations

Defining genetic fitness determinants and creating genomic resources for an oral pathogen

Narayanan, A. M., Ramsey, M. M., Stacy, A. & Whiteley, M. Jul 1 2017 In : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83, 14, e00797-17

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

reproductive fitness
2 Citations

Insights into dynamic polymicrobial synergy revealed by time-coursed RNA-Seq

Hendrickson, E. L., Beck, D. A. C., Miller, D. P., Wang, Q., Whiteley, M., Lamont, R. J. & Hackett, M. Feb 28 2017 In : Frontiers in Microbiology. 8, FEB, 261

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Porphyromonas gingivalis
Streptococcus gordonii
4 Citations

Phage inhibit pathogen dissemination by targeting bacterial migrants in a chronic infection model

Darch, S. E., Kragh, K. N., Abbott, E. A., Bjarnsholt, T., Bull, J. J. & Whiteley, M. Mar 1 2017 In : mBio. 8, 2, e00240-17

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Pseudomonas aeruginosa