Title: Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Education
College/Institute: Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Research interests: Bacterial pathogenesis, bacteriophage therapy, detection of pathogens using phage display antibodies
Curriculum vitaePDF
Hobbies: Sailing, biking, outdoors, college sports, tinkering with computers

Dr. Gulig’s research has focused on bacterial pathogens. As a graduate student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas from 1980-1985, he examined immune responses to outer membrane antigens of Haemophilus influenzae type b, at the time the leading cause of pediatric meningitis. His postdoctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis from 1985-1988 focused on molecular pathogenesis of Salmonella typhimurium(now Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium). These studies combined molecular genetic manipulation of the bacterial genome with mouse and cell culture models of infection to elucidate the role of the virulence plasmid in pathogeneses.

Dr. Gulig joined the faculty of the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1988 and continued molecular pathogenesis studies of Salmonella. His research changed focus in the late 1990’s to Vibrio vulnificus, an opportunistic pathogen from shellfish. These studies have also used animal and cell culture models and genomic sequence analysis funded by the EPI. Most recently Dr. Gulig has expanded molecular pathogenesis to another opportunistic bacterial pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii, which causes wound infection in troops in the Middle East as well as patients in intensive care units. The work has been funded by a seed grant from the EPI.

Other related research involves the treatment of bacterial infections with viruses of bacteria, called bacteriophages. Dr. Gulig’s work demonstrated that V. vulnificus infections in a mouse model could be prevented and treated with bacteriophages. Most recently, Dr. Gulig has collaborated with Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze, who is a member of the EPI, to examine the possible treatment of A. baumannii infections with bacteriophages. Dr. Gulig has also developed phage display (recombinant) antibodies for detection of a variety of microbial pathogens including Giardia lamblia, Enterohemorrhagic E. coliListeria monocytogenes, and others. Phage display antibodies are beneficial because they do not involve use of animals; the antibodies are produced by E. coli.

“The development of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida has been the single greatest boost to microbiological research in the 24 years that I have been here. It is truly an exciting time to be a microbiologist at U.F., and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with other investigators at the EPI as well as contributing to the front line research being done in conjunction with the EPI.”

Dr. Gulig served on the building committee that designed the EPI building. He collaborates with other EPI researchers, including Dr. Jorge Girón, Dr. Anita Wright, Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze, Dr. Afsar Ali, and Dr. Max Teplitski.

In addition to his passion for performing microbiological research, Dr. Gulig enjoys teaching microbiology to medical and graduate students. He also performs numerous administrative roles, the most important of which are being Associate Dean for Graduate Education and director of the Interdisciplinary Program (IDP) in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine, as well as being chair of the U.F. Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Contact information:
Academic Research Bldg., Room R1-250
University of Florida
P.O. Box 100266
Gainesville, FL 32610-0266
Voice: (352) 294-5544
Fax: (352) 273-8950

Email: gulig@ufl.edu