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Stephen H. Leppla, Ph.D.
Building 33, Room 1W20B.7
33 North Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-3202 
Phone: 301-594-2865
Fax: 301-480-0326
sleppla@niaid.nih.gov

Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases

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Stephen H. Leppla, Ph.D.

Photo of Stephen H. Leppla

Chief, Microbial Pathogenesis Section, LPD

Major Areas of Research

  • Structure-function relationships in bacterial protein toxins and the roles of toxins and other virulence factors in contributing to bacterial pathogenesis
  • Bacterial gene regulation, interactions of bacteria and toxins with animal cells and tissues, the effects of toxins on host physiology, and the molecular mechanisms of toxin action
  • Use of basic-research results in the design of vaccines and therapeutics
 

Program Description

The Microbial Pathogenesis Section studies bacterial diseases related to biodefense pathogens. Research focuses on identification and analysis of bacterial virulence factors and their genetic regulation; structure-function analysis of bacterial proteins and other factors; disease pathogenesis; and development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics.

Biography

Dr. Leppla earned a B.S. in biology from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. After postdoctoral study at the University of California-Berkeley and Brown University, he became a research scientist at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland. He moved to the National Institutes of Health in 1989 and to NIAID in 2003.

Research Group

Photo of Stephen H. Leppla, Ph.D.
 

Shihui Liu, Staff Scientist
Mahtab Moayeri, Staff Scientist (Core)
Andrei Pomerantsev, Staff Scientist (Core)
Mini Varughese, Scientific Operations Manager
Myriam Megouache, Lab Secretary
Christopher Bachran, Visiting Fellow
Inka Sastalla, Research Fellow
Clinton Leysath, Postdoctoral IRTA
Kuang Hua Chen, Microbiologist
Rasem Fattah, Chemist
Devorah Crown, Contractor
Yi Zhang, Contractor
Allyse Hellmich, Postbaccalaureate IRTA
Alex Wein, Postbaccalaureate IRTA
Suzanne Abdelazim, Student IRTA
Andrew McKenzie, Postbaccalaureate IRTA
Dami Phillips, Postbaccalaureate IRTA

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Selected Publications

Okugawa S, Moayeri M, Pomerantsev AP, Sastalla I, Crown D, Gupta PK, Leppla SH. Lipoprotein biosynthesis by prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase is required for efficient spore germination and full virulence of Bacillus anthracis. Mol Microbiol. 2012 Jan;83(1):96-109.

Pomerantsev AP, Pomerantseva OM, Moayeri M, Fattah R, Tallant C, Leppla SH. A Bacillus anthracis strain deleted for six proteases serves as an effective host for production of recombinant proteins. Protein Expr Purif. 2011 Nov;80(1):80-90.

Liu S, Miller-Randolph S, Crown D, Moayeri M, Sastalla I, Okugawa S, Leppla SH. Anthrax toxin targeting of myeloid cells through the CMG2 receptor is essential for establishment of Bacillus anthracis infections in mice. Cell Host Microbe. 2010 Nov 18;8(5):455-62.

Newman ZL, Printz MP, Liu S, Crown D, Breen L, Miller-Randolph S, Flodman P, Leppla SH, Moayeri M. Susceptibility to anthrax lethal toxin-induced rat death is controlled by a single chromosome 10 locus that includes rNlrp1. PLoS Pathog. 2010 May 20;6(5):e1000906.

Pomerantsev AP, Camp A, Leppla SH. A new minimal replicon of Bacillus anthracis plasmid pXO1. J Bacteriol. 2009 Aug;191(16):5134-46.

Liu S, Crown D, Miller-Randolph S, Moayeri M, Wang H, Hu H, Morley T, Leppla SH. Capillary morphogenesis protein-2 is the major receptor mediating lethality of anthrax toxin in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 28;106(30):12424-9.

Visit PubMed for a complete publication list.

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Patents

Chen Z, Leppla SH, Emerson SU, Purcell RH, Moayeri M, inventors; United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize anthrax toxins. United States patent US 8,071,100. 21 Feb 2008.

Leppla SH, Liu S, Bugge TH, inventors; United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Multimeric protein toxins to target cells having multiple identifying characteristics. United States patent US 7,947,289. 15 Apr 2011.

Schneerson R, Shiloach J, Liu DT, Kubler-kielb J, Majadly FD, Leppla SH, Robbins JB, inventors; United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Poly-gamma-glutamic conjugates for eliciting immune responses directed against bacilli. United States patent US 7,803,386. 04 Jun 2004.

Shiloach J, Leppla SH, Ramirez D, Schneerson R, Robbins JB, inventors; United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Methods for preparing Bacillus anthracis protective antigen for use in vaccines. United States patent US 7,763,451. 23 Sep 2011.

Schneerson R, Kubler-kielb J, Majadly FD, Leppla SH, Robbins JB, Liu DT, Shiloach J, inventors; United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Methods for preparing immunogenic conjugates. United States patent US 7,625,736. 20 Oct 2009.

Leppla SH, Liu S, Bachran CH, Morley T, inventors; United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, assignee. Mutated anthrax toxin protective antigen proteins that specifically target cells containing high amounts of cell-surface metalloproteinases or plasminogen activator receptors. United States patent US 7,468,352. 08 Apr 2011.

Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a complete list of patents.

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Last Updated October 26, 2012