Matthew J. Culyba, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Education & Training

  • MD, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2010
  • PhD, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • BS, University of Rochester, 2002

Research Interests

Bacteria have a remarkable ability to rapidly adapt to environmental stress and evolve resistance. Research in my lab is focused on understanding how bacteria adapt to antibiotics and evolve antibiotic resistance. We fuse molecular and biochemical methodologies with experimental microbial evolution to study mutational phenomena and bacterial adaptation. There are two major areas of study in the lab: 1) We use Escherichia coli to study the bacterial SOS response, a pathway containing promutagenic activities that is linked to acquired resistance phenotypes; 2) We utilize clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to study the evolution of antibiotic tolerance pathways in vivo. The goal of our work is to understand the molecular mechanisms underpinning this rapid evolution in order to devise interventions to inhibit adaptation to antibiotics.


Culyba MJ, Mo CY, Kohli RM (2015). Targets for combating the evolution of acquired antibiotic resistance. Biochemistry. 54(23): 3573-82. 

Mo CY, Culyba MJ, Selwood T, Kubiak JM, Hostetler ZM, Jurewicz AJ, Keller PM, Pope AJ, Quinn A, Schneck J, Widdowson KL, Kohli RM (2018). Inhibitors of LexA autoproteolysis and the bacterial SOS response discovered by an academic-industry partnership. ACS Infectious Diseases. 4(3):349-359.

Culyba MJ, Kubiak JM, Mo CY, Goulian M, Kohli RM (2018). Non-equilibrium repressor binding kinetics link DNA damage dose to transcriptional timing within the SOS gene network. PLoS Genet. 14(6): e1007405.

Culyba MJ (2019). Ordering up gene expression by slowing down transcription factor binding kinetics. Curr Genet. 65(2):401-406.

Kozuch BC, Shaffer MG, Culyba MJ (2020). The parameter-fitness landscape of lexA autoregulation in Escherichia coli. mSphere. 5(4):e00718-20.

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