Dr. Laura Runyen-Janecky
Professor of Biology
The long-term research goal in the lab is to identify and characterize the physiological processes that are important for intracellular bacteria to survive and multiply within eukaryotic cells and their host. Current research in the lab uses Sodalis glossinidius, an intracellular symbiont of the tsetse fly, a as model system.
Grants and Fellowships
2016-2019 National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15): “Identifying and Characterizing Heme Tolerance Genes in the Tsetse Symbiont Sodalis glossinidius
2012-2015 National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15): “Sodalis glossinidius Iron Acquisition"
2012 University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship: Identification of unique genes in Sodalis glossinidius.
2011 University of Richmond Faculty Seminar Abroad
2010 University of Richmond Program for Enhancing Teaching Effectiveness Teaching Enhancement Grant
National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences
2009-2010 National Research Service Awards for Individual Senior Fellows (F33): "Investigation of iron acquisition genes in Sodalis glossinidius using new tools"
2008-2011 National Science Foundation UBM-Group: "Studying Cell Response to Input Signals as the Basis for Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences" (Co-PI)
2007-2011 National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15): "Role of Shigella two component regulation systems in intracellular adaptation"
2007-2010 Thomas F. Jeffress and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust Award: "Characterization of Intracellular Adaptation Genes in the Tsetse Fly Secondary Endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius"
2004-2007 National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15): "Virulence role and regulation of the Shigella suf genes"

2009 University of Richmond Distinguished Educator Award

Runyen-Janecky, L. 2016. Microbe Mentor: Career Activities at ASM Microbe 2016. Microbe, 11:223-225.

*= undergraduate co-author

Hrusa, G*., W. Farmer*, B.L. Weiss, T. Applebaum*, J. Roma*, L. Szeto*, S. Aksoy, and L.J. Runyen-Janecky.  2015.  TonB-dependent heme iron acquisition in the tsetse fly symbiont Sodalis glossinidius. App. Environ. Microbiol. 81:2900-2909.

Waddell, C.D., Walter, T.J*., Pacheco, S.A., Purdy, G.E., and L.J. Runyen-Janecky. 2014. NtrBC and Nac contribute to efficient Shigella flexneri intracellular replication. J. Bacteriol. 196:2578-2586.

Runyen-Janecky, Laura. 2013. Role and regulation of heme iron acquisition in gram-negative pathogens. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol., 3:55. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2013.00055

Smith, C*., B. Weiss, S. Aksoy, and L. Runyen-Janecky. 2013.  Characterization of the Achromobactin Iron Acquisition Operon in Sodalis glossinidius.  App. Environ. Microbiol., 79:2872-2881.

Runyen-Janecky, L. 2014. Transduction of Environmental Signals by Prokaryotic Two Component Regulatory Systems. In: Bell E., Bond J., Klinman J., Masters B., Wells R.(Ed.) Molecular Life Sciences: An Encyclopedic Reference: Springer Reference (www.springerreference.com). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Richardson, C.*, M. Hill, C. Marks, L. Runyen-Janecky, and A. Hill. 2012. Experimental manipulation of sponge:bacterial symbiont community composition with antibiotics: sponge cell aggregates as a unique tool to study animal:microbe symbiosis. In press. FEMS Microb. Ecol.
Daugherty, A.*, A. E. Suvarnapunya, and L.J. Runyen-Janecky. 2012. The Role of OxyR and SoxRS in oxidative stress survival in Shigella flexneri.  Microbiol. Res. 167: 238-245.

Runyen-Janecky, L.J., A.N. Brown*, Ott, B*. Tujuba, H.G. *, and R.V.M. Rio. 2010. Regulation of high-affinity iron acquisition homologues in the tsetse fly symbiont, Sodalis glossinidius.  J. Bacteriol.192:3780-3787. 

Snyder, A.K., J.W. DeBerry*, L. Runyen-Janecky and R.V.M. Rio. 2010. Nutrient provisioning facilitates homeostasis between tsetse fly (Diptera: Glossinidae) symbionts. Proc. R. Soc. B. 277:2389-2397.
Runyen-Janecky, L. J., A. Daugherty*, B. Lloyd*, C. Wellington*, H. Eskandarian*, and M. Sagransky*. 2007. Role and regulation of iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis genes in Shigella flexneri virulence. Infect. Immun. 76: 1083-1092.
Runyen-Janecky, L.J., E. Dazenski*, S. Hawkins*, and L. Warner*. 2006. Role and Regulation of the Shigella flexneri Sit and MntH Systems. Infect. Immun. 74: 4666-4672.2007
Kanack, K.J., L.J. Runyen-Janecky, E.P. Ferrell, S-J Suh, and S. E. H. West. 2006. Characterization of DNA binding specificity and analysis of binding sites of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa global regulator, Vfr, a homologue of the Escherichia coli cAMP receptor protein. Microbiology, 152: 3485-3496.
Runyen-Janecky, L.J. 2005. Bioinformatics in a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Curriculum. Enzymatic. 2: 11-13.
Runyen-Janecky. L.J., A. Boyle*, A. Kizzee*, L. Liefer*, and S.M. Payne. 2005. Role of the Pst system in Plaque Formation by the Intracellular Pathogen Shigella flexneri. Infection and Immunity. 73: 1404-1410.
Runyen-Janecky. L.J., S.A. Reeves, E.G. Gonzales and S.M. Payne. 2003. Contribution of the Shigella flexneri Sit, luc, and Feo iron acquisition systems to iron acquisition in vitro and in cultured cells. Infection and Immunity. 71: 1919-1928.
Wei, J.M., B. Goldberg, V. Burland, M.M. Venkatesan, W. Deng, G. Fournier, G.F. Mayhew, G. Plunkett III, D.J. Rose, A. Darling, B. Mau, N.T. Perna, S.M. Payne, L.J. Runyen-Janecky, S. Zhou, D.C. Schwartz, and F.R. Blattner. 2003. Complete Genome Sequence and Comparative Genomics of Shigella flexneri Serotype 2a Strain 2457T. Infection and Immunity. 71: 2775-2786.

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
B.S., Southwestern University
Contact Information
(804) 287-6390
(804) 289-8233 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Bacterial Symbioses