Horacio M. Frydman, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University College of Arts and Sciences

PhD, Johns Hopkins University
MSc, Universidade de São Paulo

My research generally focuses on understanding how microorganisms and their hosts interact at different biological levels (e.g., molecular, cellular, genetic, ecological, and evolutionary). Specifically, I am interested in the interactions of the intracellular bacteria Wolbachia with their host cells. The infection of invertebrates by Wolbachia represents one of the great pandemics on this planet. Even though Wolbachia is one of the most abundant intracellular bacteria on earth, infecting up to 70% of arthropods and filarial nematodes, their mechanisms of transmission are poorly understood.

Beyond fundamental questions of host-microbe interactions, understanding Wolbachia biology also has specific medical relevance. Wolbachia provides new approaches to treat human and animal filariasis—devastating diseases including river blindness and elephantiasis—caused by parasitic worms. Wolbachia is also a potential agent to control insect vectors that transmit diseases such as dengue, filariasis, and malaria.

The broad aim of my laboratory is to identify the mechanisms required for maintenance of Wolbachia infection through successive generations of their host (vertical transmission) and for infection into new hosts (horizontal or infectious transmission). My work demonstrates that Wolbachia preferentially populate the stem cell niche, the region of the fly ovary containing the stem cells. Tropism for the stem cell niche provides a previously undetected route to reach the germ line. The targeting of stem cell niche by Wolbachia may facilitate their horizontal and vertical transmission. Our main focus is to understand the mechanisms of Wolbachia targeting of the stem cell niche and how it relates to their successful transmission.

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

Boston University
National Emerging Infectious Disease Lab

Pew Fellowship for Heverton Dutra
08/30/2018 - 05/31/2019 (Key Person / Mentor)
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Mechanisms of Wolbachia Stem Cell Niche Tropism
05/15/2013 - 02/28/2018 (PI)
National Science Foundation

Manipulation of Stem Cell Activity and Cell Death by Intracellular Bacteria
08/07/2013 - 07/31/2015 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Jo C, Bernstein DB, Vaisman N, Frydman HM, Segrè D. Construction and Modeling of a Coculture Microplate for Real-Time Measurement of Microbial Interactions. mSystems. 2023 Apr 27; 8(2):e0001721. PMID: 36802169; PMCID: PMC10134821; DOI: 10.1128/msystems.00017-21;
  2. Deehan M, Lin W, Blum B, Emili A, Frydman H. Intracellular Density of Wolbachia Is Mediated by Host Autophagy and the Bacterial Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Gene cifB in a Cell Type-Dependent Manner in Drosophila melanogaster. mBio. 2021 01 12; 12(1).View Related Profiles. PMID: 33436431; PMCID: PMC7844536; DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02205-20;
  3. Carneiro Dutra HL, Deehan MA, Frydman H. Wolbachia and Sirtuin-4 interaction is associated with alterations in host glucose metabolism and bacterial titer. PLoS Pathog. 2020 10; 16(10):e1008996. PMID: 33048997; PMCID: PMC7584242; DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008996;
  4. Lefoulon E, Vaisman N, Frydman HM, Sun L, Voland L, Foster JM, Slatko BE. Author Correction: Large Enriched Fragment Targeted Sequencing (LEFT-SEQ) Applied to Capture of Wolbachia Genomes. Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 24; 9(1):20184. PMID: 31874958; PMCID: PMC6930218; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-55305-5;
  5. Lefoulon E, Vaisman N, Frydman HM, Sun L, Voland L, Foster JM, Slatko BE. Large Enriched Fragment Targeted Sequencing (LEFT-SEQ) Applied to Capture of Wolbachia Genomes. Sci Rep. 2019 04 11; 9(1):5939. PMID: 30976027; PMCID: PMC6459864; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42454-w;
  6. Schultz MJ, Tan AL, Gray CN, Isern S, Michael SF, Frydman HM, Connor JH. Wolbachia wStri Blocks Zika Virus Growth at Two Independent Stages of Viral Replication. MBio. 2018 05 22; 9(3).View Related Profiles. PMID: 29789369; PMCID: PMC5964347; DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00738-18;
  7. Schultz MJ, Frydman HM, Connor JH. Dual Insect specific virus infection limits Arbovirus replication in Aedes mosquito cells. Virology. 2018 05; 518:406-413.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29625404; PMCID: PMC8005325; DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2018.03.022;
  8. Kamath AD, Deehan MA, Frydman HM. Polar cell fate stimulates Wolbachia intracellular growth. Development. 2018 03 23; 145(6). PMID: 29467241; PMCID: PMC5897597; DOI: 10.1242/dev.158097;
  9. Schultz MJ, Connor JH, Frydman HM. Group B Wolbachia Strain-Dependent Inhibition of Arboviruses. DNA Cell Biol. 2018 Jan; 37(1):2-6.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29297702; PMCID: PMC5770089; DOI: 10.1089/dna.2017.4025;
  10. Simhadri RK, Fast EM, Guo R, Schultz MJ, Vaisman N, Ortiz L, Bybee J, Slatko BE, Frydman HM. The Gut Commensal Microbiome of Drosophila melanogaster Is Modified by the Endosymbiont Wolbachia. mSphere. 2017 Sep-Oct; 2(5). PMID: 28932814; PMCID: PMC5597968; DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00287-17;
Showing 10 of 23 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 23 publications over 16 distinct years, with a maximum of 4 publications in 2018


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