• I have been an assistant professor in Microbiology at UAB since January of 2016. Prior to starting my own lab, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Ursula Jakob at the University of Michigan, where I began my studies of bacterial responses to reactive chlorine stress and the role of the ancient biomolecule inorganic polyphosphate in stress response. I received my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, in the lab of Dr. Jorge Escalante, studying the synthesis and salvage of the lower ligand of vitamin B12 in bacteria, and my Master's degree at the University of California - Davis, in the lab of Dr. Valley Stewart. Between those degrees, I worked as a technician in Dr. Kathryn Boor's lab at Cornell University, which was also my undergraduate alma mater. Throughout my career, I have had an interest in bacterial genetics and physiology, and on the molecular details of how bacteria sense and respond to changes in their environments.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 RclA is a thermostable copper (II) reductase required for reactive chlorine resistance and host colonization in Escherichia coli 2019
    2019 Inorganic polyphosphate accumulation in Escherichia coli is regulated by DksA but not by (p)ppGpp 2019
    2019 Thermally activated nucleation and growth of cobalt and nickel oxide nanoparticles on porous silica 2019
    2019 Complex responses to inflammatory oxidants by the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri 2019
    2019 Assaying for inorganic polyphosphate in bacteria 2019
    2019 Complex responses to hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid by the probiotic bacterium lactobacillus reuteri 2019
    2018 Polyphosphate Stabilizes Protein Unfolding Intermediates as Soluble Amyloid-like Oligomers 2018
    2018 Mutations in Escherichia coli polyphosphate kinase that lead to dramatically increased in vivo polyphosphate levels 2018
    2017 The anti-inflammatory drug mesalamine targets bacterial polyphosphate accumulation 2017
    2017 Comparative techno-economic analysis and process design for indirect liquefaction pathways to distillate-range fuels via biomass-derived oxygenated intermediates upgrading 2017
    2016 Discerning the Location and Nature of Coke Deposition from Surface to Bulk of Spent Zeolite Catalysts 2016
    2016 Tunable catalytic properties of bi-functional mixed oxides in ethanol conversion to high value compounds 2016
    2016 Do nucleic acids moonlight as molecular chaperones? 2016
    2016 Integrated process for the catalytic conversion of biomass-derived syngas into transportation fuels 2016
    2016 Role of Calcination Temperature on the Hydrotalcite Derived MgO-Al2O3 in Converting Ethanol to Butanol 2016
    2015 Bed Agglomeration during the Steam Gasification of a High-Lignin Corn Stover Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF) Digester Residue 2015
    2015 Does the Transcription Factor NemR Use a Regulatory Sulfenamide Bond to Sense Bleach? 2015
    2015 Protein quality control under oxidative stress conditions 2015
    2015 Oxidative stress protection by polyphosphate-new roles for an old player 2015
    2015 Direct syngas hydrogenation over a Co-Ni bimetallic catalyst: Process parameter optimization 2015
    2014 Syngas conversion to gasoline-range hydrocarbons over Pd/ZnO/Al 2O3 and ZSM-5 composite catalyst system 2014
    2014 Polyphosphate Is a Primordial Chaperone 2014
    2014 About the dangers, costs and benefits of living an aerobic lifestyle 2014
    2013 The RclR protein is a reactive chlorine-specific transcription factor in escherichia coli 2013
    2013 Bacterial responses to reactive chlorine species 2013
    2013 NemR is a bleach-sensing transcription factor 2013
    2013 Bacillus megaterium Has Both a Functional BluB Protein Required for DMB Synthesis and a Related Flavoprotein That Forms a Stable Radical Species 2013
    2010 A new pathway for the synthesis of α-ribazole-phosphate in Listeria innocua 2010
    2009 The cobinamide amidohydrolase (cobyric acid-forming) CbiZ enzyme: A critical activity of the cobamide remodelling system of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2009
    2009 In vivo analysis of cobinamide salvaging in Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain 2.4.1 2009
    2008 The genome of Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain 2.4.1 encodes functional cobinamide salvaging systems of archaeal and bacterial origins 2008
    2008 Autophosphorylation and dephosphorylation by soluble forms of the nitrate-responsive sensors NarX and NarQ from Escherichia coli K-12 2008
    2007 Single-enzyme conversion of FMNH2 to 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole, the lower ligand of B12 2007
    2006 How the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes mediates the switch from environmental Dr. Jekyll to pathogenic Mr. Hyde 2006
    2006 Attributing risk to Listeria monocytogenes subgroups: Dose response in relation to genetic lineages 2006
    2004 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from foods and humans form distinct but overlapping populations 2004
    2004 Detection and quantification of the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis by real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification 2004
    2004 Long-term donepezil treatment in 565 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD2000): Randomised double-blind trial 2004
    2004 High rates of ammonium recycling drive phytoplankton productivity in the offshore Mississippi River plume 2004
    2004 Comparative Genomic Analysis of the sigB Operon in Listeria monocytogenes and in Other Gram-Positive Bacteria 2004
    2004 Detection of viable Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis using luciferase reporter systems. 2004
    2003 Driving scientific applications by data in distributed environments 2003
    2003 Molecular detection and quantitation of the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis in the marine environment 2003
    2000 Characterization of chocolate milk spoilage patterns 2000

    Research Overview

  • My research fosues on the molecular biology of how bacteria sense and respond to reactive chlorine species, which are antimicrobial oxidants produced by neutrophils during inflammation. I am particularly interested in understanding how gut microbes, both symbiotic and pathogenic, respond to inflammatory oxidants, and what role those responses play in colonization and disease. My lab has recently become very interested in the regulation of inorganic polyphosphate production, which is a key factor in the ability of bacteria to survive exposure to inflammatory oxidants.
  • Teaching Overview

  • I am currently course director for GBS 760 - Prokaryotic Genetics and Molecular Biology, and make substantial contributions to GBS768 - Scientific Communication and GBS748 - Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis, as well as being co-course director for the Bacterial Pathogenesis and Physiology Journal Club.
  • Full Name

  • Michael Gray