Microbiology Experts

Heidi B. Kaplan

Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
The University of Texas Health Science Center
United States of America


Dr. Kaplan grew up in Center City Philadelphia where she attended public school. She received her BA in Biology at Brandeis University outside of Boston. She worked for two years as a research assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute before joining E. Peter Greenberg’s lab at Cornell University. Dr. Kaplan received her PhD in Microbiology as Pete Greenberg’s first graduate student to study Vibrio fisheri autoinduction, which later became known as quorum signaling. After completing her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with Dale Kaiser studying Myxococcus xanthus development, she started her own lab at UT-Houston Medical School. Dr. Kaplan is married and has two college-aged sons. She enjoys running and sailing and various volunteer activities.

Research Interest

Cell-cell interactions required for multicellular development and biofilm formation


  • Zhang Y, Vaksman Z, Litwin DB, Shi P, Kaplan HB, O Igoshin. The mechanism and physiological role of Myxococcus xanthus predatory rippling behavior. PLoS Comput. Biol. 2012; 8:e1002715.

  • De Paula RM, Keasler V, Bennett B, Keller C, Adams R, Valkman Z, HB Kaplan. Optimization of a microbial control program in an aging Gulf of Mexico asset to minimize the risk of corrosion, NACE Corrosion 2012, Salt Lake City, UT (Houston, TX: NACE, 2012), p.1195-1208.

  • Tribble GD, Rigney T, Dao DH, Wong C, Kerr J, Taylor B, Pacha S, HB Kaplan. Natural competence is a major mechanism for horizontal DNA transfer in the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. Mbio. 2012; 3: e00231.

  • Darkoh C, DuPont H, HB Kaplan. Novel one-step method for detection and isolation of active-toxin-producing Clostridium difficile strains directly from stool samples. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2011; 49:4219-4224.

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