Title: Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
College/Institute: Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Research interests: Bacterial pathogenesis, bacteriophage therapy, detection of pathogens using phage display antibodies
Curriculum vitae: PDF
Hobbies: Sailing, biking, outdoors, college sports
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 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 bacterial pathogen from shellfish. These studies also used animal and cell culture models and genomic sequence analysis funded by the EPI. Most recently Dr. Gulig shifted his research interests to the beneficial bacterium Oxalobacter formigenes. This member of the human intestinal microbiota helps prevent kidney stones by stimulating the intestinal epithelium to excrete oxalate, the major component of most kidney stones, from the blood into the intestinal lumen where these bacteria use it as their sole carbon and energy source. This decreases levels of urinary oxalate and thereby kidney stones. Dr. Gulig is studying the mechanism by which O. formigenes does this so that the oxalate excretion stimulating factor can be developed into a preventive therapy for kidney stones or so that the probiotic properties of O. formigenes can be improved. Other previous research involved 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. Dr. Gulig has also developed phage display (recombinant) antibodies for detection of a variety of microbial pathogens including Giardia lamblia, Enterohemorrhagic E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and others.
“The development of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida has been the single greatest boost to microbiological research in the 29 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.
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 is being chair of the U.F. Institutional Biosafety Committee.
Academic Research Bldg., Room R2-208
University of Florida
P.O. Box 100266
Gainesville, FL 32610-0266
Voice: (352) 294-5544
Fax: (352) 273-8950