Robert S. Munford, M.D.Building 33, Room 2W10A333 North DriveBethesda, MD 20892Phone: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Clinician and Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases
Chief, Antibacterial Host Defense Section, LCID
Animals defend themselves from many Gram-negative bacteria by 1) sensing the lipopolysaccharide found in the bacterial cell wall and then 2) mounting inflammatory reactions that kill the bacteria. Our research has produced strong evidence for a new concept: In order to recover from infection, animals must kill these bacteria and inactivate their LPS. We made mice that are unable to inactivate LPS and found that they never completely recover from exposure to LPS or to bacteria that make LPS. Their macrophages and other cells remain "reprogrammed" in ways that make them respond very slowly when they are re-exposed to LPS or other microbial molecules. As a result, they are much more likely to die when they are challenged with virulent Gram-negative bacteria.
Dr. Munford received his B.A. in history from Vanderbilt University and his M.A. in animal physiology from Oxford University before attending Harvard Medical School. After training in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas, he served as an epidemic intelligence officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did postdoctoral research at the Rockefeller University, and completed an infectious disease fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He worked for many years as a physician-scientist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, before moving to the National Institutes of Health in 2009. His interest in bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS, endotoxin) began when he investigated an outbreak of meningococcal disease in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1972. His lab's major research goal has been to understand how animals inactivate these highly stimulatory molecules.
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Lu M, Munford RS. The transport and inactivation kinetics of bacterial lipopolysaccharide influence its immunological potency in vivo. J Immunol. 2011 Sep 15;187(6):3314-20.
Shao B, Kitchens RL, Munford RS, Rogers TE, Rockey DC, Varley AW. Prolonged hepatomegaly in mice that cannot inactivate bacterial endotoxin. Hepatology. 2011 Sep 2;54(3):1051-62.
Munford RS, Lu M, Varley AW. Kill the bacteria… and also their messengers? In: Alt FW, editor. Advances in Immunology. Vol. 103. Burlington: Academic Press; 2009. p. 29-48.
Lu M, Varley AW, Ohta S, Hardwick J, Munford RS. Host inactivation of bacterial lipopolysaccharide prevents prolonged tolerance following gram-negative bacterial infection. Cell Host Microbe. 2008 Sep 11;4(3):293-302.
Munford RS. Sensing gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharides: a human disease determinant? Infect Immun. 2008 Feb;76(2):454-65.
Shao B, Lu M, Katz SC, Varley AW, Hardwick J, Rogers TE, Ojogun N, Rockey DC, Dematteo RP, Munford RS. A host lipase detoxifies bacterial lipopolysaccharides in the liver and spleen. J Biol Chem. 2007 May 4;282(18):13726-35.
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Last Updated October 24, 2012
Last Reviewed October 24, 2012