Ming Tan

Picture of Ming Tan
Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
School of Medicine
Professor, Medicine
School of Medicine
B.S., University of Florida, 1981
M.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1985
Phone: (949) 824-3397
Fax: (949) 824-8598
Email: mingt@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
B240 Med Sci
Mail Code: 4025
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Chlamydia, bacterial pathogenesis, gene regulation, gene expression, transcription, developmental regulation, systems biology, host-pathogen interactions, centrosome, cancer, cilia, infectious disease, sexually transmitted, infertility, trachoma
To apply for a postdoctoral position in my research group, please email me, describing your research interests and goals and attaching your CV.
Research Abstract
Our research in the fields of bacterial pathogenesis and infectious diseases looks at how the intracellular bacterium Chlamydia causes disease. Chlamydial infections are the most commonly reported infectious disease in the country. Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common cause of bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the developed world, and a leading cause of preventable blindness in the developing world. In addition, genital strains of C. trachomatis have been associated with cervical cancer. A second species, Chlamydia pneumoniae is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia.

All chlamydial species share an unusual developmental life cycle that takes place within a eukaryotic host cell. We are studying a number of aspects of this intracellular infection:

1. Gene regulation: A central question is how this pathogen replicates and converts between two developmental forms within an infected host cell. We are studying the temporal control of chlamydial genes by mechanisms that regulate DNA supercoiling, transcription (alternative forms of RNA polymerase and transcription factors, such as activators and repressors) and translation (small RNAs). The approaches used include molecular biology, biochemistry, genetic and whole genome approaches, and bioinformatics. We are also using 3D electron microscopy to study how chlamydiae use cell size to control developmental conversion.

2. Host-pathogen interactions: Chlamydia manipulates and subverts numerous host processes in order to support its intracellular infection. We are studying how Chlamydia causes centrosome dysregulation such as the production of multiple centrosomes. These studies may provide a potential mechanism to explain the epidemiologic association of C. trachomatis and cervical cancer. We are also studying how Chlamydia causes loss of primary cilia, which is a signaling organelle on the host cell, and disrupts motile cilia, which may lead to infertility in women. These Chlamydia cell biology studies are a collaboration with Dr. Christine Suetterlin of the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology. Together, we are using a variety of cell biology approaches including immunofluorescent and electron microscopy, and protein analysis.
Awards and Honors
Dean’s Junior Physician/Scientist Award, College of Medicine, UC Irvine
Excellence in Teaching Award, School of Medicine, UC Irvine: 2004-2016 (8 times)
Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award, School of Medicine, UC Irvine
A list of publications can be found here:
Tan, M. and Bavoil, P.M. (ed.). Intracellular Pathogens I: Chlamydiales (Tan, M., Lead Editor) (ASM Press, Washington, DC), 2012.

Tan, M., Hegemann, J.H. and Sütterlin, C. (ed.) Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease (Caister Academic Press, Poole, U.K.), 2020.

Book chapters:
Batteiger, B.E. and Tan, M. Chlamydia trachomatis (trachoma and urogenital infections). In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease, 9th edition. J.E. Bennett, R. Dolin, M.J. Blaser, ed., (Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA). pp. 2301-2319. 2020.

Rosario, C.J., Soules, K., Hefty, P.S. and Tan, M. Chlamydia gene regulation. In: Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease. M. Tan, J.H. Hegemann and C. Sütterlin, ed., (Caister Academic Press, Poole, U.K.), pp. 219-240. 2020.

Brothwell, J.A., Sütterlin, C., Rudel, T. and Tan, M. The chlamydial protease CPAF. In: Chlamydia Biology: From Genome to Disease. M. Tan, J.H. Hegemann and C. Sütterlin, ed., (Caister Academic Press, Poole, U.K.), pp. 177-194. 2020.
R01 AI044198, NIAID, NIH, 5/17-4/22, “Mechanisms of developmental regulation in Chlamydia” (PI: Tan)
R01 AI123998, NIAID, NIH, 8/17-7/21, “Late developmental regulation in Chlamydia” (PI: Tan)
R01 AI151212, NIAID, NIH, 2/20-1/25, “Mechanism of RB-to-EB conversion in Chlamydia” (Multi-PI grant, PIs: Suetterlin, Enciso, Boassa, Tan)
R01 AI153410, NIAID, NIH, 4/20-3/25, “Primary cilia loss and cell cycle re-entry in Chlamydia-infected cells” (Multi-PI grant, PIs: Suetterlin and Tan)
Professional Societies
American Society for Microbiology: Division D (Bacteria of Medical Importance) Chair (2005-6), Division Advisor (2006-7)
Chlamydia Basic Research Society: Secretary-Treasurer (2007-11), President-Elect (2011-2013), President (2013-2015)
Infectious Diseases Society of America: Fellow
Other Experience
Graduate Programs
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
Infectious Disease (IM)
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