Hung, Deborah

Phone: 617-643-3117


Deborah Hung is a physician-scientist combining chemical and genomic approaches to define host-pathogen interactions and to reveal the critical pressure points of infectious disease. By deploying small organic molecules on a genome-wide scale to both perturb and understand bacterial infection, she hopes to identify new therapeutic prospects for a variety of devastating pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Deborah received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University, where she worked in Stuart Schreiber’s laboratory to characterize the chemical and biological properties of discodermolide, a small molecule isolated from marine sponges that stabilizes microtubules. More recently, she pursued her postdoctoral research in the laboratory of John Mekalanos at Harvard Medical School, using a high-throughput chemical screen to identify a small molecule that inhibits two major virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae, a gram-negative bacterium that causes an acute intestinal diarrhea. When given orally, the inhibitor can protect mice from the effects of V. cholerae infection. Although cholera outbreaks are relatively rare in the United States, the disease is epidemic in many non-industrialized countries where water sanitation is poor.

Deborah received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowships in infectious disease and critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Currently, she holds positions as an infectious disease physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital and an attending critical care physician in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Selected Publications (from total of 76)


Barczak AK, Avraham R, Singh S, Luo SS, Zhang WR, Bray MA, Hinman AE, Thompson M, Nietupski RM, Golas A, Montgomery P, Fitzgerald M, Smith RS, White DW, Tischler AD, Carpenter AE, Hung DT
Systematic, multiparametric analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis intracellular infection offers insight into coordinated virulence.
PLoS Pathog. 2017;13(5):e1006363 - PMID: 28505176
Gootenberg JS, Abudayyeh OO, Lee JW, Essletzbichler P, Dy AJ, Joung J, Verdine V, Donghia N, Daringer NM, Freije CA, Myhrvold C, Bhattacharyya RP, Livny J, Regev A, Koonin EV, Hung DT, Sabeti PC, Collins JJ, Zhang F
Nucleic acid detection with CRISPR-Cas13a/C2c2.
Science. 2017;356(6336):438-442 - PMID: 28408723
Gomez JE, Kaufmann-Malaga BB, Wivagg CN, Kim PB, Silvis MR, Renedo N, Ioerger TR, Ahmad R, Livny J, Fishbein S, Sacchettini JC, Carr SA, Hung DT
Ribosomal mutations promote the evolution of antibiotic resistance in a multidrug environment.
Elife. 2017;6:ePub - PMID: 28220755 - PMCID: PMC5319836
Cerqueira GC, Earl AM, Ernst CM, Grad YH, Dekker JP, Feldgarden M, Chapman SB, Reis-Cunha JL, Shea TP, Young S, Zeng Q, Delaney ML, Kim D, Peterson EM, O'Brien TF, Ferraro MJ, Hooper DC, Huang SS, Kirby JE, Onderdonk AB, Birren BW, Hung DT, Cosimi LA, Wortman JR, Murphy CI, Hanage WP
Multi-institute analysis of carbapenem resistance reveals remarkable diversity, unexplained mechanisms, and limited clonal outbreaks.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114(5):1135-1140 - PMID: 28096418 - PMCID: PMC5293017
Avraham R, Hung DT
A perspective on single cell behavior during infection.
Gut Microbes. 2016;:0 - PMID: 27658058 - PMCID: PMC5153611
Zhang D, Gomez JE, Chien JY, Haseley N, Desjardins CA, Earl AM, Hsueh PR, Hung DT
Genomic analysis of the evolution of fluoroquinolone resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis prior to tuberculosis diagnosis.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016;60(11):6600-6608 - PMID: 27572408 - PMCID: PMC5075065
Outterson K, Rex JH, Jinks T, Jackson P, Hallinan J, Karp S, Hung DT, Franceschi F, Merkeley T, Houchens C, Dixon DM, Kurilla MG, Aurigemma R, Larsen J
Accelerating global innovation to address antibacterial resistance: introducing CARB-X.
Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016;15(9):589-90 - PMID: 27469032
Avraham R, Haseley N, Fan A, Bloom-Ackermann Z, Livny J, Hung DT
A highly multiplexed and sensitive RNA-seq protocol for simultaneous analysis of host and pathogen transcriptomes.
Nat Protoc. 2016;11(8):1477-1491 - PMID: 27442864
Grant SS, Wellington S, Kawate T, Desjardins CA, Silvis MR, Wivagg C, Thompson M, Gordon K, Kazyanskaya E, Nietupski R, Haseley N, Iwase N, Earl AM, Fitzgerald M, Hung DT
Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenases EthA and MymA Are Required for Activation of Replicating and Non-replicating Mycobacterium tuberculosis Inhibitors.
Cell Chem Biol. 2016;23(6):666-77 - PMID: 27321573 - PMCID: PMC4920728
Wivagg CN, Wellington S, Gomez JE, Hung DT
Loss of a Class A Penicillin-Binding Protein Alters ?-Lactam Susceptibilities in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
ACS Infect Dis. 2015;2(2):104-10 - PMID: 27624961
Avraham R, Haseley N, Brown D, Penaranda C, Jijon HB, Trombetta JJ, Satija R, Shalek AK, Xavier RJ, Regev A, Hung DT
Pathogen Cell-to-Cell Variability Drives Heterogeneity in Host Immune Responses.
Cell. 2015;162(6):1309-21 - PMID: 26343579 - PMCID: PMC4578813
Hou HW, Bhattacharyya RP, Hung DT, Han J
Direct detection and drug-resistance profiling of bacteremias using inertial microfluidics.
Lab Chip. 2015;15(10):2297-2307 - PMID: 25882432 - PMCID: PMC4437799
Shishkin AA, Giannoukos G, Kucukural A, Ciulla D, Busby M, Surka C, Chen J, Bhattacharyya RP, Rudy RF, Patel MM, Novod N, Hung DT, Gnirke A, Garber M, Guttman M, Livny J
Simultaneous generation of many RNA-seq libraries in a single reaction.
Nat Methods. 2015;12(4):323-325 - PMID: 25730492 - PMCID: PMC4712044
Wivagg CN, Bhattacharyya RP, Hung DT
Mechanisms of ?-lactam killing and resistance in the context of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
J Antibiot (Tokyo). 2014;67(9):645-654 - PMID: 25052484
Stanley SA, Barczak AK, Silvis MR, Luo SS, Sogi K, Vokes M, Bray MA, Carpenter AE, Moore CB, Siddiqi N, Rubin EJ, Hung DT
Identification of Host-Targeted Small Molecules That Restrict Intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis Growth.
PLoS Pathog. 2014;10(2):e1003946 - PMID: 24586159 - PMCID: PMC3930586