Headshot of Dr.Laura  Runyen-Janecky

Dr. Laura Runyen-Janecky

Professor of Biology, Coston Family Fellow in Molecular Biology
Curriculum Vitae

  • Profile

    Dr. R-J’s research program seeks to identify and characterize the physiological processes that are important for bacteria to survive and multiply within the constraints of particular environments. Current research in the lab uses the bacterium Sodalis glossinidius, a symbiont of the tsetse fly, a as model system.  Additionally, new projects that explore fermented food as interesting environments are currently being developed.

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    • Grants and Fellowships

      2022 National Institutes of Health Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21, subaward PI): “Endosymbiont mediated chitin catabolism in the tsetse fly gut impacts trypanosome transmission”

      2022 University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship

      2021 University of Richmond Faculty Summer Research Fellowship

      2016-2021 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"

    • Awards

      2013 University of Richmond International Education Award

      2009 University of Richmond Distinguished Educator Award

  • Publications
    Journal Articles

    *= undergraduate co-author

    Runyen-Janecky LJ, Scheutzow JD*, Farsin R*, Cabo LF*, Wall KE*, Kuhn KM*, Amador R*, D'Souza SJ*, Vigneron A, Weiss BL. Heme-induced genes facilitate endosymbiont (Sodalis glossinidius) colonization of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans) midgut. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022 Nov 28;16(11):e0010833. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010833. eCollection 2022 Nov.PMID: 36441823.

    Roma JS, D'Souza S*, Somers PJ*, Cabo LF*, Farsin R*, Aksoy S, Runyen-Janecky LJ, Weiss BL. Thermal stress responses of Sodalis glossinidius, an indigenous bacterial symbiont of hematophagous tsetse flies. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019 Nov 18;13(11):e0007464. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007464. eCollection 2019 Nov.PMID: 31738754.


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

    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.

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