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Erik Kopping

Erik Kopping

B.S., 2012, University of Connecticut
Advisor: David Thanassi
Email: Erik.Kopping@stonybrook.edu

Research Interests

Following my graduation from UCONN in May 2012, I enrolled in the Ph.D. Program in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM) at Stony Brook University. I was interested in studying bacterial secretion systems, and after my rotations I joined the laboratory of Dr. David Thanassi in the Center for Infectious Diseases. My research focuses on the virulence mechanisms of the bacterium Francisella tularensis. F. tularensis is a highly infectious intracellular pathogen and potential bioweapon. I am studying the role of the outer membrane channel protein, TolC, in modulating the host response to F. tularensis infection. TolC forms the outer membrane spanning component of the type I secretion system (T1SS), which is important for the secretion of toxins and virulence factors by a number of Gram-negative bacteria. One of my interests is to understand which cellular defenses F. tularensis counteracts in the macrophage (a major replicative niche in vivo) via TolC during the course of infection. In addition, I seek to identify potential virulence factors secreted through TolC to counteract these host responses. I chose to conduct my thesis work in the MGM Program because of the tight-knit, collaborative atmosphere. The Program offers the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals on cutting-edge science – an opportunity I thoroughly enjoy! When not in the lab I enjoy being outdoors, drinking craft beer, playing sports and traveling.

Honors and Awards

National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31), 2017.

Distinguished Service Award, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, 2016

Distinguished Travel Award, Stony Brook University Graduate Student Organization, 2016

National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship (F31), October 2016

Tularemia International Society Outstanding Poster Presentation Award, October 2015

Tularemia International Society Travel Award, September 2015

American Society of Microbiology Student Travel Grant, May 2015

NIH/NIAID Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) Appointee, 2014-2016

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Excellence in Teaching Award, October 2013


Parashar, K., Kopping, E., Frank, D., Sampath, V., Thanassi, D.G., and Carpino, N. (2017). Increased resistance to intradermal Francisella tularensis LVS infection by inactivation of the Sts phosphatases. Infection and Immunity, in press.


Parashar, K., Kopping, E., Frank, D., Sampath, V., Thanassi, D.G., and Carpino, N. Increased Resistance to Intradermal Francisella tularensis LVS Infection by Inactivation of the Sts Phosphatases. Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Response, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, September 12 - 16, 2017.

Kopping, E.J., and Thanassi, D.B. TolC-Dependent Modulation of Host Cell Death by F. novicida. Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity. July 10-15, 2016. Waterville Valley, NH.

Kopping, E.J., and Thanassi, D.G. TolC-dependent Modulation of Host Cell Death by F. novicida. 8th International Conference on Tularemia. September 28 - October 1, 2015. Opatija, Croatia.

Kopping, E.J., and Thanassi, D.G. Contributions of TolC-dependent Export Pathways to Francisella novidica Drug Sensitivity and Host Cell Death Modulation. 115th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. May 30 - June 2, 2015, New Orleans, LA.