Shelley M. Payne

  • Professor
  • Director, LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease
  • Marie Betzner Morrow Centennial Chair
  • Distinguished Teaching Professor
  • Molecular Biosciences
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Contact Information


The Payne lab focuses on the genetics and regulation of iron acquisition systems and other virulence factors of the intestinal pathogens Shigella flexneri and Vibrio cholerae. Our work combines biochemistry and genetics to determine how the essential metals iron and manganese are transported and utilized in V. cholerae and S. flexneri. Iron transport systems are of particular interest to us because iron acquisition in the human host is critical to microbial virulence. Specifically we are studying the bacterial Feo system for ferrous iron transport. Additionally, we use in vitro models combined, such as enteroids, with genetic analyses to determine the role of host lipids and carbon metabolism in the pathogenesis of S. flexneri. Regarding S. flexneri, we also examine interspecies interactions between S. flexneri and normal members of human gut microbiota to determine how they  influence in S. flexneri growth and virulence. Finally, we are also exploring the environmental regulation of critical virulence factors by the RNA binding protein CsrA in V. cholerae.

Research Areas

  • Infectious Disease, Immunology and Microbiology

Fields of Interest

  • Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Centers and Institutes

  • John Ring LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease
  • Public Health Coalition


  • Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D., Texas Health Science Center, Dallas (1977)
  • B.A., Rice University (1972)



  • Minnie Stevens Piper Professor (2021)
  • President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award (2017)
  • Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award from the American Society for Microbiology (2014)
  • Regents Outstanding Teaching Award (2010)
  • Civitas Award (2007)
  • Academy of Distinguished Teachers (2000)