Microbiology Experts

Hung Ton-that

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


Dr. Ton-That obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2000, working with Dr. Olaf Schneewind to elucidate the mechanism of sortase-catalyzed cell wall anchoring of surface proteins in Staphylococcus aureus. He came to the University of Chicago for his postdoctoral training and became interested in pilus assembly in Gram-positive bacteria. Between 2004 and 2008, he held an assistant professor position at the University of Connecticut Health Center to continue his studies of Gram-positive pili and their role in biofilm formation and bacterial pathogenesis. In 2009, he joined the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. His research program currently focuses on the molecular assembly on the cell surface of Gram-positive pathogens, oxidative protein folding in Gram-positive bacteria, and virulence mechanisms of the Gram-negative pathogen Fusobacterium nucleatum. His teaching duties include courses for graduate and medical students and directing a laboratory-based course in fluorescence and electron microscopy.

Research Interest

Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity


  • Siegel SD, Liu J, Ton-That H. Biogenesis of the Gram-positive bacterial cell envelope. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Dec;34:31-37.

  • Luong TT, Reardon-Robinson ME, Siegel SD, Ton-That H. Reoxidation of the Thiol-Disulfide Oxidoreductase MdbA by a Bacterial Vitamin K Epoxide Reductase in the Biofilm-Forming Actinobacterium Actinomyces oris. J Bacteriol. 2017 Apr 25;199(10). pii: e00817-16.

  • Juárez-Vázquez AL, Edirisinghe JN, Verduzco-Castro EA, Michalska K, Wu C, Noda-García L, Babnigg G, Endres M, Medina-Ruíz S, Santoyo-Flores J, Carrillo-Tripp M, Ton-That H, Joachimiak A, Henry CS, Barona-Gómez F. Evolution of substrate specificity in a retained enzyme driven by gene loss. Elife. 2017 Mar 31;6. pii: e22679.

  • Sanchez BC, Chang C, Wu C, Tran B, Ton-That H. Electron Transport Chain Is Biochemically Linked to Pilus Assembly Required for Polymicrobial Interactions and Biofilm Formation in the Gram-Positive Actinobacterium Actinomyces oris. MBio. 2017 Jun 20;8(3). pii: e00399-17.

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