Infection Medicine

Professor Jose Vazquez-Boland

Chair of Infectious Diseases


Jose has a veterinary medical degree (1985) and a PhD in microbiology (1990) from Complutense University of Madrid. Before the PhD, he spent time in clinical practice and as public health officer. After postodoctoral training with Pascale Cossart at the Institut Pasteur, in 1993 he established one of the first internationally competitive research units in microbial pathogenesis in Spain. For this he received the Spanish Society for Microbiology’s “Jaime Ferran” Biennial Award (1999) to a young investigator’s distinguished career. In 2000 he was appointed to a Microbiology chair at University of Leon, Spain, then took up in 2002 a chair of Molecular Microbiology at the University of Bristol. Since 2007 he is chair of Infectious Diseases at the University of Edinburgh.

Research Interests

His research focuses on the infection biology of bacterial intracellular pathogens. In 1996 he promoted the creation of the “European Listeria Genome Consortium”, for which he received with his European colleagues the EU Science Award “Descartes Prize 2008” for Excellence in Transnational Collaborative Research. In 2004 he founded a similar international consortium for Rhodococcus equi reseach. Jose is author of >100 publications and has served in a number of national and international scientific advisory committees.

Research Themes

Selected Publications

  1. Deshayes C., Bielecka M.K., Cain R.J., Scortti M., de Las Heras A., Pietras Z., Luisi B.F., Núñez Miguel R., Vazquez-Boland J.A. (2012) Allosteric mutants show that PrfA activation is dispensable for vacuole escape but required for efficient spread and Listeria survival in vivo. Mol. Microbiol. 85: 461-477.
  2. De Las Heras, A., Cain, R.J., Bielecka, M., Vazquez-Boland, J.A. (2011) Regulation of Listeria virulence: PrfA master and commander. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 14:118-27.
  3. Letek, M., Gonzalez, P., MacArthur I., Rodriguez, H., Freeman,T.C, Valero-Rello,A., Blanco, M., Buckley, T., Cheverach, I., Fahey, R., Hapeshi, A., Holdstock, J., Leadon, D., Navas, J., Ocampo, A., Quail, M.A., Sanders, M., Scortti, M.M., Prescott, J.F., Fogarty, U., Meijer, W.G., Parkhill, J., Bentley, S.D., Vazquez-Boland, J.A. (2010). The genome of a pathogenic Rhodococcus: cooptive virulence underpinned by key gene acquisitions. PLoS Genet. 6:e1001145.
  4. Scortti, M., Lacharme-Lora, L., Wagner, M., Chico-Calero, I., Losito, P., Vazquez-Boland, J.A. (2006) Coexpression of virulence and fosfomycin susceptibility in Listeria: molecular basis of an antimicrobial in vitro- in vivo paradox. Nat. Med. 12: 515-517.
  5. Dominguez-Bernal, G. Muller-Altrock, S., Gonzalez-Zorn, B., Scortti, M., Herrmann, P., Monzo, H.J., Lacharme-Lora, L., Kreft , J., Vazquez-Boland, J.A. (2006) A spontaneous genomic deletion in Listeria ivanovii identifies LIPI-2, a species-specific pathogenicity island encoding sphingomyelinase and numerous internalins. Mol. Microbiol. 59: 415-432
  6. Ermolaeva, E.; Novella, S.; Vega, Y., Ripio, M.T.; Scortti, M.; Vazquez-Boland, J.A. (2004) Negative control of Listeria monocytogenes virulence genes by a diffusible autorepressor. Mol. Microbiol. 52: 601-611.
  7. Chico-Calero, I., Suarez, M., Gonzalez-Zorn, B., Scortti, M., Slaghuis, J., Vazquez-Boland, J.A. (2002) Hpt, a bacterial homolog of the microsomal glucose-6-phosphate translocase, mediates rapid intracellular proliferation in Listeria. PNAS 99: 431-436.
  8. Goetz, M., Bubert, A., Wang, G., Chico-Calero, I., Vázquez-Boland, J.A., Slaghuis, J., Goebel, W. (2001) Microinjection and growth of bacteria in the cytosol of mammalian cells. PNAS 98:12221-12226.
  9. Vazquez-Boland, J.A., Kuhn, M., Berche, P., Chakraborty, T., Dominguez-Bernal, G., Goebel, W., Gonzalez-Zorn, B., Wehland, J., Kreft, J. (2001) Listeria pathogenesis and molecular virulence determinants. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 14: 584-640.
  10. Glaser, P., L. Frangeul, C. Buchrieser, C. Rusniok, A. Amend, F. Baquero, P. Berche, H. (43 authors) T, A. Tierrez, J.A. Vazquez-Boland, H. Voss, J. Wehland, P. Cossart (2001) Comparative genomics of Listeria spp. Science 294: 849-852.