Gerald I. Byrne, Ph.D

Gerald I. Byrne, Ph.D

Director, Regional Bio-containment Laboratory (RBL)
RBL Administrative Offices
847 Monroe Ave
208 Johnson Building
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-3546
Fax: 901-448-1234

Research Interests

Work in my lab has focused on various aspects of pathogenesis and immunity to infectious agents. We are particularly interested in understanding the interactions between Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia psittaci and their hosts. These bacteria establish a unique relationship with the host due to their obligate intracellular existence. Chlamydia trachomatis often causes chronic infections including trachoma, a blinding ocular disease, and tubal factor infertility, a consequence of genital tract infection in women. Chlamydia pneumoniae has been associated with atherosclerosis, an essential component of heart disease and Chlamydia psittaci, a zoonosis, is recognized as a biothreat agent. Complete genome sequences for several isolates for each of these important human pathogens has facilitated work to understand differential gene expression patterns under a variety of environmental conditions. These types of studies have provided basic information important in understanding the pathogenesis of acute and chronic chlamydial diseases.


Specific projects that are ongoing include producing complete microarray transcript maps for Chlamydia under differing in vitro and in vivo growth conditions and development of methods that will facilitate the production of a chlamydial proteome map. Other projects include working on new immune-based diagnostic tests for chronic chlamydial infections, learning roles for key chlamydial virulence factors in the pathogenesis of chronic chlamydial disease, and defining host genetic attributes that contribute to chlamydial disease susceptibility and severity that have translational implications. We are ultimately interested in the development of novel interventions that will provide both protection against infection and disease pathology.

PubMed search for Dr. Gerald I. Byrne


  • Ph.D, Microbiology, University of Chicago, 1977
  • M.S, Microbiology, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 1972
  • B.S, Biology, New Mexico State University, 1970