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Photo of Michael Federle

Michael Federle

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


Office Phone:

(312) 413-0213 (work)

Related Sites:

About Heading link

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 and Supervision Heading link

PSCI Ph.D. Thesis Research (PSCI 599), 6/12/2023 – 8/4/2023
PhD Thesis Research (MIM 599), 5/15/2023 – 8/4/2023
PSCI Ph.D. Thesis Research (PSCI 599), 1/9/2023 – 4/28/2023
PhD Thesis Research (MIM 599), 1/9/2023 – 4/28/2023
Cell Biology (GEMS 503), 8/22/2022 – 12/2/2022
PhD Thesis Research (MIM 599), 8/22/2022 – 12/2/2022
PDAT 4: Immunology/Respiratory (PHAR 504), 8/22/2022 – 12/2/2022
PDAT 4: Immunology/Respiratory (PHAR 504), 8/22/2022 – 12/2/2022
Biochemistry (GEMS 501), 8/22/2022 – 12/2/2022

Selected Grants

Determining the mechanism and impact of streptococcal RaS-RiPPs on the human oral microbiome, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)., 8/1/2023 - 7/31/2025, Obligated Amount: $111701; Anticipated Amount: $223402

Discovery of a pigment produced by Streptococcus pyogenes, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)., 3/1/2023 - 2/28/2025, Obligated Amount: $193496; Anticipated Amount: $423776

Macrophage Immunosuppression by Quorum-Induced Streptococcus pyogenes, National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)., 7/1/2022 - 6/30/2026, Obligated Amount: $1311528; Anticipated Amount: $2362683

Antipsychotic Associated Acquisition of Antimicrobial Resistance Mechanisms in Gut Microbiota, Hans W. Vahlteich Research Award., 2/28/2022 - 2/28/2023, Obligated Amount: $50000; No Anticipated Amount Set

Norway-India-Brazil-Canada-USA: Partnership for excellence in education, research and innovation in biofilm and antibiotic resistance, Univ of Oslo., 1/1/2021 - 12/31/2026, Obligated Amount: $33480; Anticipated Amount: $33480

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 - 6/30/2023, 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: $691270; Anticipated Amount: $691270

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 - 6/30/2022, Obligated Amount: $434568; Anticipated Amount: $434568

Selected Publications

Nepomuceno, Vanessa M, Tylor, Kaitlyn M, Carlson, Skylar, Federle, Michael J, Murphy, Brian T, Morales, Tiara Perez. (2023). A Streptomyces tendae Specialized Metabolite Inhibits Quorum Sensing in Group A Streptococcus. Microbiology Spectrum, 11, (4), e05279-e05222. doi:10.1128/spectrum.05279-22.

Rued, Britta E, Federle, Michael J. (2023). The ComRS-SigX Pathway Regulates Natural Transformation in Streptococcus ferus. Journal of Bacteriology, 205, (6), e00089-e00023. doi:10.1128/jb.00089-23.

Hu, Duoyi, Laczkovich, Irina, Federle, Michael J, Morrison, Donald A. (2023). Identification and Characterization of Negative Regulators of Rgg1518 Quorum Sensing in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Journal of Bacteriology, e00087-e00023. doi:10.1128/jb.00087-23.

Resko, Zachary J, Anderson, Caleb M, Federle, Michael J, Alonzo, Francis. (2023). A Staphylococcal Glucosaminidase Drives Inflammatory Responses by Processing Peptidoglycan Chains to Physiological Lengths. Infection and Immunity, 91, (2), e00500-e00522. doi:10.1128/iai.00500-22.

Rued, Britta E, Anderson, Caleb M, Federle, Michael J. (2022). The Proteomic and Transcriptomic Landscapes Altered by Rgg2/3 Activity in Streptococcus pyogenes. Journal of Bacteriology, 204, (11), e00175-e00122. doi:10.1128/jb.00175-22.

Chang, Jennifer C, Wilkening, Reid V, Rahbari, Kate M, Federle, Michael J. (2022). Quorum Sensing Regulation of a Major Facilitator Superfamily Transporter Affects Multiple Streptococcal Virulence Factors. Journal of Bacteriology, 204, (9), e00176-e00122. doi:10.1128/jb.00176-22.

Laczkovich, Irina, Mangano, Kyle, Shao, Xinhao, Hockenberry, Adam J, Gao, Yu, Mankin, Alexander, Vázquez-Laslop, Nora, Federle, Michael J. (2022). Discovery of Unannotated Small Open Reading Frames in Streptococcus pneumoniae D39 Involved in Quorum Sensing and Virulence Using Ribosome Profiling. mBio, 13, (4), e01247-e01222. doi:10.1128/mbio.01247-22.

Kyono, Yasuhiro, Ellezian, Lori, Hu, YueYue, Eliadis, Kanella, Moy, Junlone, Hirsch, Elizabeth B, Federle, Michael J, Flowers, Stephanie A. (2022). The Atypical Antipsychotic Quetiapine Promotes Multiple Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology, 204, (5), e00102-e00122. doi:10.1128/jb.00102-22.

Woo, Jerry KK, McIver, Kevin S, Federle, Michael J. (2022). Carbon catabolite repression on the Rgg2/3 quorum sensing system in Streptococcus pyogenes is mediated by PTSMan and Mga. Molecular Microbiology, 117, (2), 525-538. doi:10.1111/mmi.14866.

Professional Leadership

Ad Hoc Reviewer, American Society for Microbiology, 3/31/2021 - Present

Special Emphasis Panel, National Institutes of Health, 7/2019 - 7/2019

NIH F13 Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Fellowship Panel, National Institutes of Health, 7/2018 - 7/2018

NIH ZRG1 IDM-B 80 Special Emphasis Panel, National Institutes of Health, 3/2018 - 3/2018

NIH Bacterial Pathogenesis Study Section, National Institutes of Health, 10/2016 - 10/2016

NIH ZRG1 IDM-B 80 Special Emphasis Panel, National Institutes of Health, 3/2016 - 3/2016

NIH ZRG1 IDM-B 80 Special Emphasis Panel, National Institutes of Health, 3/2015 - 3/2015

Planning Committee, American Society for Microbiology, 10/2014 - 10/2014

NIH, ZRG1 IDM-B 80 Special Emphasis Panel, National Institutes of Health, 7/2013 - 7/2013

Notable Honors

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

2014, Rising Star Researcher, University of Illinois at Chicago

2014, ASM Distinguished Lecturer,


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