Marcin Grabowicz, PhD

Assistant Professor

Emory University School of Medicine

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Dr. Grabowicz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology with a joint appointment in the Division of Infectious Disease at Emory University School of Medicine.

He recently completed postdoctoral training at Princeton University applying bacterial genetics to understand outer membrane biogenesis in Escherichia coli and developing strategies to identify novel antibiotics. Previously, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide in Australia, focusing on bacterial pathogenesis, bacterial cell biology, and vaccine development.

Research Interests

While antibiotics have revolutionized medical practice, antibiotic resistance threatens to reverse these gains. The problem is particularly acute for Gram-negative pathogens which assemble an outer membrane that shields these bacteria from antibiotics. This outer membrane barrier prevents clinical use of many currently available antibiotics in treating Gram-negative infections and continues to frustrate efforts to discover new drugs. Our lab aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms of outer membrane assembly and to develop new therapeutic interventions.

Lipoprotein transport

Every aspect of outer membrane assembly requires essential lipoproteins. Hence, the transport pathways that deliver these lipoproteins to the outer membrane are critical vulnerabilities. We are unravelling the mechanisms underlying lipoprotein transport and devising strategies to disrupt this process.


Envelope stress responses

Outer membrane assembly is a complex process that is continuously monitored by stress response signal transduction systems. We study a stress response that not only monitors lipoprotein transport but also helps adapt pathogens to resist antibiotic treatment.


Vaccine adjuvant development

We discovered an unusual molecule that covalently couples two potent agonists of innate immunity, lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan. Together, these molecules synergize immune signaling and produce useful adjuvant responses. We are investigating the adjuvant properties of our hybrid molecule.




Research Topics