Ryan Doster, MD, PhD



Research Interest:

  • Pathogenesis of bacterial infections during pregnancy
  • Mechanisms of bacterial mucosal colonization including biofilm formation
  • Influence of host diet/metabolic disease on host-pathogen interactions
  • Using multidisciplinary approaches (team science) to drive translational research


The Doster lab is focused on defining how bacteria such as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) causes invasive infections during pregnancy that lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes like preterm birth, chorioamnionitis (infection of the fetal membranes surrounding the infant), and neonatal sepsis. To cause invasive disease during pregnancy, GBS must first colonize the vaginal epithelium, overcoming pressures from the host immune system and the vaginal microbiota. Our current projects aim to understand colonization as the initial stage of GBS pathogenesis. The lab is particularly interested in understanding how metabolic syndromes including diabetes mellitus and zinc deficiency increase risk for vaginal colonization and perinatal infections. We use a variety of techniques to investigate important host-pathogen interactions within the female reproductive tract including in vitro cell culture models, high-resolution microscopy techniques, and animal models to understand the factors necessary for GBS to form biofilms, colonize epithelial surfaces, and evade immune responses on the way to causing perinatal infections which result in significant morbidity and mortality to mothers and infants.


Selected Publications

Korir M, Doster RS, Lu J, Guevara M, Spicer S, Moore R, Francis J, Rogers LM, Haley K, Blackman A, Noble K, Eastman A, Williams J, Damo S, Boyd K, Townsend S, Serezani CH, Aronoff DM, Manning SM, Gaddy JA. Streptococcus agalactiae cadD promotes intracellular survival in macrophages and ascending infection during pregnancy. Nature Communications. 2022 Sep 14;13(1):5392. 

Nguyen LM, Omage JI, Noble K, McNew KL, Moore DJ, Aronoff DM, Doster RS. Group B streptococcal infection of the genitourinary tract in pregnant and non-pregnant patients with diabetes mellitus: an immunocompromised host or something more? Am J Reprod Immunol. 2021 Dec;86(6):e13501.

Ayala OD, Doster RS, Manning SD, O'Brien CM, Aronoff DM, Gaddy JA, Mahadevan-Jansen A. Raman microspectroscopy differentiates perinatal pathogens on ex vivo infected human fetal membrane tissues. J Biophotonics. 2019 Jun 4.

Doster RS, Rogers LM, Sutton JA, Aronoff DM, Gaddy JA. Streptococcus agalactiae induces placental macrophages to release macrophage extracellular traps loaded with tissue remodeling enzymes via an oxidative burst-dependent mechanism. mBio. 2018 Nov 20;9(6):e02084-18.

Doster RS, Kirk L, Tetz LM, Rogers LM, Aronoff DM, Gaddy JA.  Staphylococcusaureus infection of human gestational membranes induces bacterial biofilm formation and host production of cytokines. J Infect Dis. 2017 Feb 15;215(4):653-657.

Ackerman DL, Doster RS, Weitkamp JH, Aronoff DM, Gaddy JA, Townsend SD. Human milk oligosaccharides exhibit antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties against Group B Streptococcus. ACS Infect Dis.  2017 Aug 11;3(8):595-605. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00064.


My Complete Bibliography can be accessed at: