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Office Address: 354 Shumaker Research Building

Office Phone:  (502) 852-0991

Lab Address: 309 Shumaker Research Building

Lab Phone: (502) 852-4660


Mailing Address:

139 Life Sciences

Biology Department

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292





Welcome to Deborah Yoder-Himes’s lab website!


Broad scope overview of our research 


Have you ever wondered why your lungs are not infected by the bacteria you breathe in every day?

The Yoder-Himes lab focuses on the bacteria that are naturally found in the soils and sediments around the globe that cause opportunistic respiratory infections in humans. Specifically we study three groups of organisms: the Burkholderia cepacia complex, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. We are interested in how these organisms cause infections in intensive care patients, immunocompromised patients, and those people with cystic fibrosis (the most common lethal genetic disorder in Caucasian populations). We are currently identifying and characterizing the virulence factors employed by these groups by using model systems of infection such as in vitro growth, tissue culture, and mouse models, especially for Burkholderia and Stenotrophomonas, which are relatively understudied. We also employ the latest in next-generation sequencing and systems biology techniques to obtain a global view of the organisms. Our aim is to understand how these organisms cause disease which will then allow us to develop therapeutics for their treatment. We are also interested in how these organisms evolved to become human pathogens and whether the virulence factors actually evolved for other purposes in their native environments.

 I am looking for creative and driven students to undertake projects regarding bacterial pathogenesis using state-of-the-art techniques. Interested?  Contact me and we can talk further.


 Patient sputum Pseudomonas

Bacteria isolated from the sputum of a cystic fibrosis patient


For further information, please consult the links below.


  • Curriculum Vitae – describes my record thus far
  • Research Interests – a more in-depth look at the projects in the Yoder-Himes lab
  • Teaching Interests – the classes I teach at U of L with associated links
  • Lab members – pictures and descriptions of current and former lab members
  • Women in Biology – a description of influential women in the natural sciences intended to encourage girls and women to enter the scientific disciplines as well as thoughts on how to support fellow women scientists and useful links for women in science.
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