D. Scott Merrell


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
Professor and Program Director
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Basic Biology of Bacterial, Viral, or Parasite Diseases
Microbiome, Bacterial stress response and adaptation, Polymicrobial interactions
Office Phone


1988-1992 B.S. Biology magna cum laude, Lyon College
1994-1996 M.S. Microbiology, University of Arkansas, Advisor: Mack Ivey, Ph.D.
1996-2001 Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Advisor: Andrew Camilli, Ph.D.
2001-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford School of Medicine, Advisor: Stanley Falkow, Ph.D.


D. Scott Merrell (Scotty) was born and raised in rural Bald Knob, Arkansas but left the south to complete his Ph.D. studies at Tufts Medical School. While there he conducted studies that were focused on understanding the role of the acid tolerance response in the ability of Vibrio cholerae to successfully colonize the human host. After completing his Ph.D. in 2001, he moved to Stanford University, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship, which focused on utilization of genomic techniques to understand the stress response of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Scotty is a former “Applied Genomics of Infectious Diseases,” ID Training Fellow, a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellow and received a Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award for excellence in basic research in medical microbiology and infectious diseases in 2008. Scotty’s research group currently studies colonization and virulence factors of the gastric pathogen H. pylori, the microbiome associated with S. aureus infection, S. aureus resistance and polymicrobial interactions, and stress response in A. baumannii.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

2008, Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award for excellence in basic research in medical microbiology and infectious diseases.

2012-2014, ASM Branch Lectureship

2015, Cinda Helke Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Advocacy

2015, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine Impact Award

2014-present, Graduate Education Chair

2007-present, EID Graduate Program Executive Committee

2007-present, Biomedical Instrumentation Advisory Committee

2010-present, Associate Editor Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

2006-present, Member, Editorial Board Infection and Immunity

2017-2020, Member, Editorial Board International Journal of Medical Microbiology


D.S. Merrell, S.M. Butler, F. Qadri, N. A. Dolganov, A. Alam, M.B. Cohen, S.B. Calderwood, G.K. Schoolnik, and A. Camilli. “Host Induced Epidemic Spread of the Cholera Bacterium.” Nature 417(6889):642-645, 2002. PMC2776822

D.R. Bridge, J.M. Whitmire, J.J. Gilbreath, E.S. Metcalf, and D.S. Merrell. "An Enterobacterial Common Antigen Mutant of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as a Vaccine Candidate." International Journal of Medical Microbiology, Sep;305(6):511-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2015.05.004, 2015.

R.C. Johnson, C.D. Schlett, K. Crawford, J.B. Lanier, D.S. Merrell, and M.W. Ellis. “Recurrent Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Cutaneous Abscesses and the Selection of Reduced Chlorhexidine Susceptibility During Chlorhexidine Use.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Nov;53(11):3677-82. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01771-15, 2015.

A. Kim, S.L. Servetas, J. Kang, J. Kim, S. Jang, H.J. Cha, W.J. Lee, J. Kim, J. Romero-Gallo, R.M. Peek Jr. D.S. Merrell*, and J.H. Cha “Helicobacter pylori bab Paralog Distribution and Association with cagA, vacA, and homA/B genotypes in American and South Korean Clinical Isolates.” PLoS ONE, Aug 28;10(8):e0137078. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137078, 2015.

A.S. Lo, D.S. Merrell, H. Lei, A. Sardi, T. McAvoy, and T.L. Testerman. "A Novel Member of Chitinophagaceae Isolated from a Human Peritoneal Tumor." Genome Announcements, Nov 12;3(6). pii: e01297-15. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.01297-15, 2015.

C.L. Williams, H.M. NEU, J.J. Gilbreath, S.L. Michel, D.V. Zurawski and D.S. Merrell. “Copper Resistance of the Emerging Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(20):6174-6188, 2016.

J. Singh, R.C. Johnson, C.D. Schlett, E.M. Elassal, K.B. Crawford, D. Mor, J.B. Lanier, N.N. Law, W.A. Walters, N. Teneza-Mora, J.W. Bennett, E.R. Hall, E.V. Millar, M.W. Ellis, and D.S. Merrell. “Multi-Body Site Microbiome and Culture Profiling of Military Trainees Suffering From Skin and Soft-Tissue Infections at Fort Benning, GA.” mSphere, Oct 5;1(5), 2016. pii: e00232-16.

R.C. Johnson, M.W. Ellis, C.D. Schlett, E.V. Millar, P.T. LaBreck, D. Mor, E.M. Elassal, J.B. Lanier, C.L. Redden, T. Cui, N. Teneza-Mora, D.K. Bishop, E.R. Hall, K.A. Bishop-Lilly, and D.S. Merrell. “Bacterial Etiology and Risk Factors Associated with Cellulitis and Purulent Skin Abscesses in Military Trainees.” PLoS ONE, Oct 25;11(10):e0165491. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165491.