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William Nierman, PhD, has studied microbial genomics since joining the faculty of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in 1998. Dr. Nierman has served in the roles of Project Director and/or Principal Investigator for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) genomics centers at JCVI since the inception of this program by NIAID. He served as Principal Investigator in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded study on the respiratory tract microbiome and the role of the pneumonia vaccine in very young infants. He directed the international project that determined the first genome sequence of Aspergillus fumigatus, the fungal pathogen that causes the frequently lethal infection, invasive aspergillosis. He also directed the project that determined the first genomic sequence of the then newly recognized biothreat pathogen, Burkholderia mallei. His laboratory is currently engaged in the study of the genomic mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance and resistance in the biothreat pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. Dr. Nierman is an author of more that 140 peer reviewed scientific papers. Over 64 of these papers reported studies on the genomics of microbial pathogens since 2008.

Research Priorities

Studies of bacterial pathogen resistance and tolerance to antibacterial drugs

  • Studies of antibiotic tolerance and persisters in Burkholderia pseudomallei and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Efficient high throughput screening for novel antibacterial drugs

The respiratory tract microbiome in health and disease

  • The respiratory tract microbiome and pneumonia in lung transplant patients
  • The respiratory tract microbiome in the first two years of life
  • The respiratory tract microbiome in cases of severe pneumonia

Fungal pathogens

  • Expression profiling of fungi and the mammalian host during in vivo infections and ex vivo infections of culture immune system cells


Select Publications

Looking Beyond Respiratory Cultures: Microbiome-Cytokine Signatures of Bacterial Pneumonia and Tracheobronchitis in Lung Transplant Recipients.
American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. 2016-06-01; 16.6: 1766-78.
PMID: 26693965
Genetic Analysis Using an Isogenic Mating Pair of Aspergillus fumigatus Identifies Azole Resistance Genes and Lack of MAT Locus's Role in Virulence.
PLoS pathogens. 2015-04-24; 11.4: e1004834.
PMID: 25909486
Large-scale transcriptional response to hypoxia in Aspergillus fumigatus observed using RNAseq identifies a novel hypoxia regulated ncRNA.
Mycopathologia. 2014-12-01; 178.5-6: 331-9.
PMID: 24996522
The pH-responsive PacC transcription factor of Aspergillus fumigatus governs epithelial entry and tissue invasion during pulmonary aspergillosis.
PLoS pathogens. 2014-10-01; 10.10: e1004413.
PMID: 25329394
The temporal dynamics of differential gene expression in Aspergillus fumigatus interacting with human immature dendritic cells in vitro.
PloS one. 2011-01-14; 6.1: e16016.
PMID: 21264256
Impaired ribosome biogenesis disrupts the integration between morphogenesis and nuclear duplication during the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus.
Eukaryotic cell. 2008-04-01; 7.4: 575-83.
PMID: 18296619
Type VI secretion is a major virulence determinant in Burkholderia mallei.
Molecular microbiology. 2007-06-01; 64.6: 1466-85.
PMID: 17555434
Transcriptional regulation of chemical diversity in Aspergillus fumigatus by LaeA.
PLoS pathogens. 2007-04-01; 3.4: e50.
PMID: 17432932
Burkholderia Hep_Hag autotransporter (BuHA) proteins elicit a strong antibody response during experimental glanders but not human melioidosis.
BMC microbiology. 2007-03-15; 7.19.
PMID: 17362501
Genome sequence alterations detected upon passage of Burkholderia mallei ATCC 23344 in culture and in mammalian hosts.
BMC genomics. 2006-09-05; 7.228.
PMID: 16953889
Regional assignment and tissue expression of twenty-three expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from human chromosome 5.
Genomics. 1996-04-01; 33.1: 128-30.
PMID: 8617497
Chromosome painting and quantitative karyotyping of colon adenocarcinoma cell lines, DLD-1 and HCT-15.
Anticancer research. 1994-01-01; 14.1A: 109-12.
PMID: 8166435
Mammalian probes and libraries at the ATCC.
Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society. 1991-01-01; 1.1: 59-64.
PMID: 1794047