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, 2017, 2018, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine Impact Award

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-present, Member, Editorial Board International Journal of Medical Microbiology

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


B.L. Hardy, G. Bansal, K.H. Hewlett, A. Arora, S.D. Schaffer, E. Kamau, J.W. Bennett, and D.S. Merrell. “Antimicrobial Activity of Clinically Isolated Bacterial Species against Staphylococcus aureus .” Frontiers in Microbiology. Jan 15;10:2977. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02977. 2020.

P.T. LaBreck, A.C. Bochi-Layec, J. Stanbro, G. Dabbah-Krancher, Mark P. Simons and D.S. Merrell. “SystematicAnalysis of Efflux Pump-mediated Antiseptic Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus Sugge sts a Need for GreaterAntiseptic Stewardship.” mSphere. Jan 15;5(1). pii: e00959-19. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00959-19. 2020.

C.L. Williams, H.M. Neu, Y.A. Alamneh, R.M. Reddinger, A.C. Jacobs, S. Singh, R. Abu-Taleb, S. L. J. Michel, D.V.Zurawski, and D.S. Merrell. “Characterization of Acinetoba cter baumannii Copper Resistance Reveals a Role inVirulence.” Frontiers in Microbiology. Feb 6;11:16. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00016. 2020.

P.T. LaBreck and D.S. Merrell. “Fitness Costs Associated with Carriage of a Large StaphylococcalPlasmid Are Reduced by Subinhibitory Concentrations of Antiseptics.” MicrobiologyOpen. Apr;9(4): e1005. doi:10.1002/mbo3.1005. Epub 2020 Feb 13. 2020.

F.C. Blum, B.L. Hardy, K.A. Bishop-Lilly, K.G. Frey, T. Hamilton, J.B. Whitney, M.G. Lewis. D.S. Merrell*, J.J. Mattapallil.“Microbial Dysbiosis During Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection is Partially Reverted with Combination Anti-retroviral Therapy.” Scientific Reports. Apr 14;10(1):6387. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63196-0. 2020.

I.H. Windham and D.S. Merrell. “Analysis of Fitness Costs Associated with Metronidazole and Amoxicillin Resistancein Helicobacter pylori . Helicobacter. Oct;25(5):e12724. doi: 10.1111/hel.12724. Epub 2020 Jul 16. 2020.

M.G. Oyola, R.C. Johnson, B.M. Bauman, K.G. Frey, A.L Russell, M. Cho-Clark, K.N. Buban, K.A. Bishop-Lilly, D.S.Merrell, R.J. Handa, T.J. Wu. “Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Marker Alteration Following Dietary Isoflavone-Photoperiod Interaction.” Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism. Oct 17;4(1):e00190. doi: 10.1002/edm2.190.e. Collection 2021 Jan. 2021. Chosen for Cover Artwork of Journal.