Ralph Isberg

Ralph Isberg

(617) 636-3993
150 Harrison Ave
Research/Areas of Interest:

Our research is directed toward answering three questions concerning the lifestyle of invasive bacterial pathogens: How are intracellular pathogens able to penetrate into normally nonphagocytic epithelial cells? What factors do intracellular bacteria encode that allow them to survive and grow within the normally hostile environment of macrophages? What role do factors that are important for bacterial-host cell interaction models play in an infection of the host? We perform genetic and biochemical experiments on two bacterial pathogens, the bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire's disease pneumonia.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University, USA, 1984
  • Artium Baccalaureatus, Oberlin College, USA, 1977


Dr. Isberg has been an acknowledged in the field of bacterial pathogenesis for over 30 years, with particular emphasis on pneumonic and diarrheal diseases. He has a major interest in identifying strategies for eliminating drug resistance in nosocomial pathogens, focusing on Acinetobacter baumannii. Among his awards was election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009.