Photo of Michael Federle

Michael Federle

Professor, College of Pharmacy - Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
Assistant Director, Center for Biomolecular Sciences
Affiliate, Center for Biomolecular Sciences

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I have spent over 25 years studying, researching, and mentoring in the field of molecular microbiology and bacterial pathogenesis. In 2008, I established an independent research laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing on chemical signaling in Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. My laboratory has helped to identify a widespread protein family characterized as cytoplasmic pheromone receptors. It is our mission to identify signaling pathways in Gram-positive pathogens (including Streptococcus pyogenes, S. pneumoniae, S. agalactiae, and S. mutans), characterize their benefits in bacterial survival or pathogenesis, and elucidate mechanisms of signaling interference as potential anti-virulence strategies. My training began at the University of Wisconsin, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in genetics. I spent three years working as a laboratory specialist in the labs of Dr. Frederick Blattner (Wisconsin, 2004-2005) and Dr. June R. Scott (Emory, 2005-2007). I completed my PhD in 2002 in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics graduate program at Emory University under the mentorship of Dr. June Scott; my thesis was based on the characterization of the CovRS twocomponent signal transduction system in the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. My postdoctoral training at Princeton University was under the mentorship of Dr. Bonnie Bassler. I helped to elucidate the molecular mechanism of autoinducer-2 sensory transduction through the LuxPQ receptor of Vibrio harveyi. Now, as a professor in the departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, and Microbiology and Immunology, I am the principle investigator of several research grants and lead a lab comprised of six graduate students and two postdoctoral scientists. I enjoy teaching to both graduate and professional students at UIC.

Teaching Statement:
Doctor of Pharmacy Program (Pharm D):
•Biomedical Chemistry (PHAR 423), 5 lectures + recitation, teaching concepts of signal transduction; microbial impact on human metabolism.
•Principles of Drug Action and Therapeutics 4: Immunology Respiratory (PHAR 504) 2 lectures, Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatoid Drugs (DMARDs) and Biologic drugs; Immunity to Pathogens.
•Pharmaceutical Applications of Genomics and Bioinformatics (PMMP412), 1 lecture, discussing microbial genomes.

Doctor of Philosophy Program (Graduate Studies):
• (MIM 554, coordinator, 3cr) 4 contact hours, Molecular Aspects of Host Responses in Microbiology.
• Molecular Biology (GEMS 502, 6cr), 6 lecture hours, mechanisms of bacterial transcription, transcriptional regulation, and signal transduction.
• Advanced Pharmacognosy (PMPG 510, 511), 4 lectures, Antibiotic compounds; Quorum Sensing Inhibitors
• Special Topics in Microbiology-Grant Writing (MIM 594), 4 contact hours.
• (MIM 560) Current topics in microbial pathogenesis, 2 lectures.

Teaching and Supervision

Cell Biology (GEMS 503), 8/23/2021 – 12/3/2021
PSCI Ph.D. Thesis Research (PSCI 599), 8/23/2021 – 12/3/2021
Molecular Aspcts of Microbiol (MIM 554), 8/23/2021 – 12/3/2021
PhD Thesis Research (MIM 599), 8/23/2021 – 12/3/2021
Biochemistry (GEMS 501), 8/23/2021 – 12/3/2021
Molecular Biology (GEMS 502), 8/23/2021 – 12/3/2021
PSCI Ph.D. Thesis Research (PSCI 599), 6/14/2021 – 8/6/2021
PhD Thesis Research (MIM 599), 5/17/2021 – 8/6/2021
PhD Thesis Research (MIM 599), 1/11/2021 – 4/30/2021

Selected Grants

Chemical profiling of bacterial-fungal interactions to elucidate mechanisms of growth and survival in multi-domain microbial communities, National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)., 1/1/2020 - 12/31/2020, Obligated Amount: $46016; Anticipated Amount: $46016

Transcriptomic and Genomic Differences of Group A Streptococcus in Humans: Acute Infection Versus Carriage, State University of New York - Binghampton., 7/10/2019 - 6/30/2022, Obligated Amount: $45843; Anticipated Amount: $45843

Novel Biofilm Inhibitors of Oral Streptococci, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)., 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2024, Obligated Amount: $414762; Anticipated Amount: $685330

Applying Ribo-Seq and RNA-Seq to identify quorum sensing pheromones and their regulons, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)., 2/19/2019 - 1/31/2022, Obligated Amount: $434568; Anticipated Amount: $434568

UIC Portal for Biomedical Research Careers (UIC PBRC) PREP, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)., 1/1/2018 - 12/31/2022, Obligated Amount: $1149080; Anticipated Amount: $1512419

BWF Ad Hoc Grant ID# 1018487, Burroughs Wellcome Fund., 11/1/2017 - 10/31/2018, Obligated Amount: $1000; Anticipated Amount: $1000

Exploring the Role of a S. Pyogenes Quorum Sensing System on Adherence and Invasion of Tonsillar Epithelial Cells, Amer Medical Assn., 4/1/2017 - 4/1/2017, Obligated Amount: $1973; Anticipated Amount: $1973

Mechanisms of Pheromone-Controlled Lysozyme Resistance and Surface Display of Streptococcus Pyogenes, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)., 11/10/2016 - 10/31/2022, Obligated Amount: $1998750; Anticipated Amount: $1998750

Molecular Mechanisms of Rgg Receptor Regulation by Pheromones and Inhibitors, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases., 7/19/2016 - 6/30/2021, Obligated Amount: $1910286; No Anticipated Amount Set

Selected Publications

Rued, Britta E, Covington, Brett C, Bushin, Leah B, Szewczyk, Gabriella, Laczkovich, Irina, Seyedsayamdost, Mohammad R, Federle, Michael J. (2021). Erratum for Rued et al., “Quorum Sensing in Streptococcus mutans Regulates Production of Tryglysin, a Novel RaS-RiPP Antimicrobial Compound”. mBio, 12, (5), e02560-e02521. doi:10.1128/mbio.02560-21.

Rahbari, KM, Chang, JC, Federle, MJ. (2021). A streptococcus quorum sensing system enables suppression of innate immunity. mBio, 12, (3). doi:10.1128/mBio.03400-20.

Gogos, Artemis, Federle, Michael J. (2021). #99: Streptococcus pyogenes Utilizes the Peptide-Based Rgg 2/3 Quorum Sensing System During Oropharyngeal Colonization. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, 10, (Supplement_1), s10-s10. doi:10.1093/jpids/piaa170.031.

Rued, BE, Covington, BC, Bushin, LB, Szewczyk, G, Laczkovich, I, Seyedsayamdost, MR, Federle, MJ. (2021). Quorum sensing in streptococcus mutans regulates production of tryglysin, a novel ras-ripp antimicrobial compound. mBio, 12, (2), 1-25. doi:10.1128/mBio.02688-20.

Gogos, A, Federle, MJ. (2020). Colonization of the murine oropharynx by streptococcus pyogenes is governed by the Rgg2/3 quorum sensing system. Infection and Immunity, 88, (10). doi:10.1128/IAI.00464-20.

Capodagli, GC, Tylor, KM, Kaelber, JT, Petrou, VI, Federle, MJ, Neiditch, MB. (2020). Structure-function studies of Rgg binding to pheromones and target promoters reveal a model of transcription factor interplay. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117, (39), 24494-24502. doi:10.1073/pnas.2008427117.

Bushin, LB, Covington, BC, Rued, BE, Federle, MJ, Seyedsayamdost, MR. (2020). Discovery and Biosynthesis of Streptosactin, a Sactipeptide with an Alternative Topology Encoded by Commensal Bacteria in the Human Microbiome. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 142, (38), 16265-16275. doi:10.1021/jacs.0c05546.

Cook, LCC, Chatterjee, N, Li, Y, Andrade, J, Federle, MJ, Eichenbaum, Z. (2019). Transcriptomic analysis of streptococcus pyogenes colonizing the vaginal mucosa identifies hupy, an MtsR-regulated adhesin involved in heme utilization. mBio, 10, (3). doi:10.1128/mBio.00848-19.

Gogos, A, Federle, MJ. (2019). Modeling streptococcus pyogenespharyngeal colonization in the mouse. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 9, (MAY). doi:10.3389/fcimb.2019.00137.

Notable Honors

2020, ASM American Academy of Microbiology Fellow, American Society of Microbiology


Ph.D., Emory University, United States, 2002
B.S., University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States, 1994

Postgraduate Training:
Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Research Associate, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States, 2008

Selected Presentations

Federle, Michael. (2021 June 24). Identifying and Exploiting Bacterial Communication Networks to Manipulate Bacterial Pathogens. Virtual Streptococcal Biology Seminar Series.