Erin McClure

Personal biography

I received a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in German from Juniata College in 2013. During my undergraduate career, I joined a microbial ecology lab and was mentored by Dr. Regina Lamendella. We studied communities of microorganisms in diverse environments, ranging from aquatic microbial communities in Pennsylvania streams to the fecal microbiota in inflammatory bowel disease patients. In 2013, I traveled to Vienna, Austria, and completed a Fulbright fellowship in the Division of Microbial Ecology at the University of Vienna under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Loy and Dr. David Berry. I began graduate school at the University of Maryland Baltimore in 2014, where my interests shifted towards innate immunity and the interactions between intracellular bacteria and their eukaryotic hosts. In my free time, I enjoy running and urban cycling, as well as tasting craft beers and perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe.


Infection-derived lipids elicit an immune deficiency circuit in arthropods. Shaw DK, Wang X, Brown LJ, Chávez AS, Reif KE, Smith AA, Scott AJ, McClure EE, Boradia VM, Hammond HL, Sundberg EJ, Snyder GA, Liu L, DePonte K, Villar M, Ueti MW, de la Fuente J, Ernst RK, Pal U, Fikrig E, Pedra JH. Nature Communications 2017. 8:14401. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14401.

Dynamics of the human gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease. Halfvarson J, Brislawn CJ, Lamendella R, Vázquez-Baeza Y, Walters WA, Bramer LM, D'Amato M, Bonfiglio F, McDonald D, Gonzalez A, McClure EE, Dunklebarger MF, Knight R, Jansson JK. Nature Microbiology. 2017. 2:17004. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2017.4.

Deviant behavior: tick-borne pathogens and inflammasome signaling. Shaw DK, McClure EE, Wang X, Pedra JHF. Veterinary Sciences 2016. 3(4): 27. doi: 10.3390/vetsci3040027

Tick saliva and microbial effector molecules: two sides of the same coin. Shaw DK, McClure EE, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JHF. Chapter 11 of Arthropod Vector: Controller of Disease Transmission (Volume 2): Vector Saliva-Host-Pathogen Interactions. Elsevier. 2017.

Neuraminidase A exposed galactose promotes Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilm formation during colonization. Blanchette K, Shenoy A, Milner J, Gilley R, McClure E, Hinojosa C, Kumar N, Daughtery S, Tallon L, Ott S, King S, Ferriera D, Gordon S, Tettelin H, Orihuela C. Infection and Immunity. 2016; 84(10):2922-32. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00277-16.

Aquatic bacterial community is restructured by hydric dynamics associated with Superstorm Sandy. Ulrich N, Rosenberger A, Brislawn C, Wright J, Kessler C, Toole D, Solomon C, Strutt S, McClure E, Lamendella R. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2016; 82(12):3525-36. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00520-16.

Human mannose-binding lectin inhibitor prevents myocardial injury and arterial thrombogenesis in a novel animal model. Pavlov VI, Tan YS, McClure EE, La Bonte LR, Zou C, Gorsuch WB, Stahl GL. Am J Pathol. 2015 185(2):347-355.
doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.10.015.

Assessing the impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Trexler R, Solomon C, Brislawn CJ, Wright JR, Rosenberger A, McClure EE, Grube AM, Peterson MP, Keddache M, Mason OU, Hazen TC, Grant CJ, Lamendella R. Front Microbiol. 2014 5:522 doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00522.

Current Projects

My current project draws on the power of bioinformatics to generate hypotheses from genomic data. The mechanisms by which Anaplasma phagocytophilum interacts with the host cell are not clearly defined. By searching for predicted protein domains within the A. phagocytophilum genome that resemble eukaryotic protein domains, I aim to discover candidate proteins that may disrupt signaling, alter ubiquitylation status, or otherwise promote the survival of A. phagocytophilum within the host cell.

Working in the Pedra lab

The Pedra lab capitalizes on the intracellular bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum to probe immune signaling pathways in organisms at all stages of the A. phagocytophilum lifecycle. These research findings will shed light onto non-insect vector immunology, suggest strategies to mitigate the burden of vector-borne diseases, and provide insight into the mechanisms of inflammation in human disease.


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