• 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
    2020 Interactions between DksA and stress-responsive alternative sigma factors control inorganic polyphosphate accumulation in Escherichia coli. 2020
    2020 Phosphate transporter PstSCAB of campylobacter jejuni is a critical determinant of lactate-dependent growth and colonization in chickens 2020
    2019 Preventing dysbiosis of the neonatal mouse intestinal microbiome protects against late-onset sepsis 2019
    2019 The Cu(II) reductase RclA protects Escherichia coli against the combination of hypochlorous acid and intracellular copper 2019
    2019 Inorganic polyphosphate accumulation in Escherichia coli is regulated by DksA but not by (p)ppGpp 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 Do nucleic acids moonlight as molecular chaperones? 2016
    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
    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 AKT inhibition mitigates GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein) expression and contribution to chemoresistance in endometrial cancers 2013
    2013 NemR is a bleach-sensing transcription factor 2013
    2013 The endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, glucose-regulated protein-78 (GRP78) in visceral adipocytes predicts endometrial cancer progression and patient survival 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
    2011 Neuropilin-2 mediated β-catenin signaling and survival in human gastro-intestinal cancer cell lines 2011
    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 Role of class 3 semaphorins and their receptors in tumor growth and angiogenesis 2009
    2009 Targeting the urokinase plasminogen activator receptor with a monoclonal antibody impairs the growth of human colorectal cancer in the liver 2009
    2009 In vivo analysis of cobinamide salvaging in Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain 2.4.1 2009
    2009 Chemoresistant colorectal cancer cells, the cancer stem cell phenotype, and increased sensitivity to insulin-like growth factor-I receptor inhibition 2009
    2008 Neuropilin-2-mediated tumor growth and angiogenesis in pancreatic adenocarcinoma 2008
    2008 Therapeutic targeting of Id2 reduces growth of human colorectal carcinoma in the murine liver 2008
    2008 The genome of Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain 2.4.1 encodes functional cobinamide salvaging systems of archaeal and bacterial origins 2008
    2008 Effect of chemotherapeutic stress on induction of vascular endothelial growth factor family members and receptors in human colorectal cancer cells 2008
    2008 Effect of molecular therapeutics on liver regeneration in a murine model 2008
    2008 Targeting Aurora kinase with MK-0457 inhibits ovarian cancer growth 2008
    2008 Autophosphorylation and dephosphorylation by soluble forms of the nitrate-responsive sensors NarX and NarQ from Escherichia coli K-12 2008
    2008 Endoglin (CD105): A marker of tumor vasculature and potential target for therapy 2008
    2008 Therapeutic targeting of neuropilin-2 on colorectal carcinoma cells implanted in the murine liver 2008
    2007 Functional significance of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors on gastrointestinal cancer cells 2007
    2007 The development and characterization of a human midgut carcinoid cell line 2007
    2007 Tyrosine kinase receptor RON in human pancreatic cancer: Expression, function, and validation as a target 2007
    2007 Single-enzyme conversion of FMNH2 to 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole, the lower ligand of B12 2007
    2006 The role of nitric oxide in mediating tumour blood flow 2006
    2006 Src activation of Stat3 is an independent requirement from NF-κB activation for constitutive IL-8 expression in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells 2006
    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
    2006 Chronic oxaliplatin resistance induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cell lines. 2006
    2006 Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 activation mediates epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human pancreatic carcinoma cells 2006
    2005 Expression and activity of Src regulate interleukin-8 expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells: Implications for angiogenesis 2005
    2005 Overexpression of neuropilin-1 promotes constitutive MARK signalling and chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer cells 2005
    2005 Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 promotes migration and invasion in pancreatic carcinoma cell lines 2005
    2005 Neuropilin-1 suppresses tumorigenic properties in a human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line lacking neuropilin-1 coreceptors 2005
    2005 HIF-1α, STAT3, CBP/p300 and Ref-1/APE are components of a transcriptional complex that regulates Src-dependent hypoxia-induced expression of VEGF in pancreatic and prostate carcinomas 2005
    2004 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from foods and humans form distinct but overlapping populations 2004
    2004 Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in human gastric cancer cells by interleukin-1β 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
    2000 Characterization of chocolate milk spoilage patterns 2000
    Complex interactions between DksA and stress-responsive alternative sigma factors control inorganic polyphosphate accumulation in Escherichia coli
    Crystal structure of E.coli NemR reduced form


    Year Title Altmetric
    2005 Genetics and Physiology of Pathogenicity in Food Borne Bacterial Pathogens 2005

    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.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology/Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin System : Madison 2010
  • Full Name

  • Michael Gray