Microbiology Experts

Nicholas R. De Lay

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


Dr. De Lay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. De Lay joined the Department of Microbiology and Molecular genetics in 2013 after completing his postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Susan Gottesman at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Dr. De Lay received his Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after completing his doctoral thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. John Cronan and earned his B.A., cum laude, from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. At Cornell University, Dr. De Lay carried out his undergraduate thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Winans. Dr. De Lay’s research is focused on the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) in the model organism Escherichia coli. Dr. De Lay is interested in understanding on a mechanistic level how a sRNA that is transcribed in response to a particular stress or environmental cue ultimately leads to changes in gene expression and the behavior of cells.

Research Interest

Molecular mechanisms by which small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) regulate gene expression. The role of sRNAs in shaping bacterial behavior.


  • De Lay N, S Gottesman. Role of Polynucleotide Phosphorylase in sRNA function in Escherichia coli. RNA. 2011; p17: 1172-1189.

  • Thomason M, Fontaine F, De Lay N, G Storz. A small RNA that regulates motility and biofilm formation in response to changes in nutrient availability in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 2012; 84: 17-35.

  • De Lay N, S Gottesman. A complex network of small noncoding RNAs regulate motility in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol.2012; 86:524-538.

  • De Lay N, Schu DJ, S Gottesman. Bacterial Small RNA-based Negative Regulation: Hfq and its Accomplices. J. Biol. Chem. 2013; 288: 7996-8003.

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