George W. Liechti


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Basic Biology of Bacterial, Viral, or Parasite Diseases
Molecular Genetics of Bacterial Pathogenesis
Office Phone


2012, Ph.D., Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
2008, M.S., Biology, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
2003, B.S., Biology, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA


Dr. George Liechti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He obtained his Bachelor of Sciences from The College of William and Mary in 2003 and his Masters of Science in 2008. Dr. Liechti earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology in 2012 from the University of Virginia. He conducted his postdoctoral studies at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences from 2012-16 as a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellow, and subsequently joined the Department as an Assistant Professor in 2016. Current studies in Dr. Liechti’s laboratory focus on the molecular genetics of bacterial pathogenesis, specifically as it relates to human-adapted microbes. Pathogenic Chlamydia, Borrelia, and Helicobacter species are currently under investigation, specifically the physiological mechanisms that confer persistence to these microbes, allowing them to evade clearance by the host and as well as killing by antibiotic treatment. Dr. Liechti is a contributing member of both the American Society for Microbiology and the Chlamydial Basic Research Society, and is the current faculty advisor to the USUHS Postdoctoral Association.

Representative Bibliography

Liechti G, Kuru E, Hall E, Kalinda A, Brun YV, VanNieuwenhze M, and Maurelli AT*. 2014. A new metabolic cell wall labeling method reveals peptidoglycan in Chlamydia trachomatis. Nature 506(7489):507-10. doi: 10.1038/nature12892. Epub 2013 Dec 11.

Liechti G, Kuru E, Packiam M, Rittichier JT, Tekkam S, Hall E, Hsu Y, VanNieuwenhze M, Brun YV, and Maurelli AT*. 2016. Pathogenic Chlamydia use a narrow, midcell peptidoglycan ring regulated by MreB for replication. PLOS Pathogens; 12(5):e1005590. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005590.

Liechti G, Singh R, Rossi PL, Gray M.D, Adams NE, Maurelli AT*. 2018. Chlamydia trachomatis dapF encodes a bifunctional enzyme capable of both D-glutamate racemase and diaminopimelate epimerase activity. MBio. vol. 9 no. 2e00204-18. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00204-18.

Slade JA, Brockett M, Singh R, Liechti G, and Maurelli AT*. 2019. Fosmidomycin induces persistence in Chlamydia by inhibiting the synthesis of isoprenoid precursors necessary for peptidoglycan assembly. PLOS Pathogens.

Ranjit DK, Liechti G, Maureli AT*. 2020. Chlamydial MreB directs cell division and peptidoglycan synthesis in Escherichia coli in the absence of FtsZ. mBio. 11:e03222-19.

Singh R, Liechti G, Slade JA, and Maurelli AT*. 2020. Chlamydia trachomatis Oligopeptide Transporter Performs Dual Functions of Oligopeptide Transport and Peptidoglycan Recovery. Infection and Immunity. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00086-20.

Singh R, Slade JA, Brockett M, Mendez D, Liechti G, and Maurelli AT. 2020. Competing substrates for the bifunctional diaminopimelic acid epimerase/glutamate racemase modulate peptidoglycan synthesis in Chlamydia trachomatis. Infection and Immunity. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00401-20.

Brothwell JA, Brockett, M, Stein BD, Nelson DE*, and Liechti G*. 2021. Genome Copy Number Regulates Inclusion Expansion, Septation, and Infectious Developmental Form Conversion in Chlamydia trachomatis. Journal of Bacteriology. DOI: 10.1128/JB.00630-20.

Mehla J, Liechti G, Morgenstein R, Caufield JH, Hosseinnia A, Gagarinova A, Phanse S, Goodacre N, Brockett M, Sakhawalkar N, Babu M, Xiao R, Montelione G, Vorobiev S, Hunt J, and Uetz P. ZapG (YhcB/DUF1043), a novel cell division protein in gamma-proteobacteria. Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Brockett M, Lee J, Cox JV, Ouellette SP* and Liechti G*. 2021. Chlamydia trachomatis Encodes a Dynamic, Ring-Forming Bactofilin Critical for Maintaining Cell Size and Shape. Infection and Immunity.