Yih-Ling Tzeng, PhD, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Department of Medicine

Office: Whitehead Research Building 245

Phone: 404-727-8393

Fax: 404-712-2278

Email: ytzeng@emory.edu


  • 1995, PhD, University of Chicago
  • 1995-1998, Postdoctoral research with Dr. James Hoch, The Scripps Research Institute
  • 1998-2000, Postdoctoral research with Dr. David Stephens, Emory University School of Medicine
  • 2000-2003, Senior Associate, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • 2003-present, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • 2006-present, Adjunct assistant professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

The long-term goal of my research is to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of virulence determinants in meningococcal pathogenesis and understand the signal transduction pathways by which meningococci sense and interact with the host. By directly studying these issues, my group continues to provide a fuller knowledge base for the development of vaccine strategies and therapeutic interventions. Currently, we focus on a novel two-component signal transduction system shown to be a global regulator mediating the expression of meningococcal virulence determinants including the structural modification of endotoxin, iron uptake and assimilation, and protein folding machinery. Using genetic, biochemical and molecular biological strategies we hope to provide not only a broad view of the regulatory scope of this important signal transduction system, but also a detailed understanding of both the molecular regulatory mechanisms and the interaction of this network with other regulatory control of gene expression. Furthermore, efforts are also focused on identifying the host signal that activates this two-component regulatory system.

Participates in the teaching, administrative activities and conference of the Division of Infectious Diseases including lectures, interviews, journal club, case of the week and research seminars.


Tzeng Y-L, Stephens DS. The epidemiology and pathogenesis of Neisseria meningitidis. Microbes Infect 2000; 2:687-700.

Tzeng Y-L, Swartley JS, Miller YK, Nisbet RE, Liu L-J, Ahn JH, and Stephens DS. Transcriptional regulation of divergent capsule biosynthesis and transport operon promoters in serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis. Infect Immun 2001; 69:2502-11.

Kahler CM, Martin L, Tzeng Y-L, Stephens DS, Sharkey K, and Davies JD. Polymorphisms in pilin glycosylation locus of Neisseria meningitidis expressing class II pili. Infect Immun 2001; 69: 3597.

Tzeng Y-L, Datta A, Kumar Kolli V, Carlson RW, and Stephens DS. Endotoxin of Neisseria meningitidis composed only of intact lipid A: Inactivation of the meningococcal 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid transferase. J Bacteriol 2002; 184:2379-88.

Tzeng Y-L, Datta A, Strole C, Kumar Kolli VS, Birck MR, Taylor WP, Carlson RW, Woodard RW, and Stephens DS. KpsF is the arabinose 5-phosphate isomerase required for 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid (Kdo) biosynthesis and for both lipooligosaccharide assembly and capsular polysaccharide expression in Neisseria meningitidis. J Biol Chem 2002; 277:24103-13.

Tzeng Y-L, Noble C, and Stephens DS. Genetic basis for biosynthesis of the (a1®4)-linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine 1-phosphate capsule of serogroup X Neisseria meningitidis. Infect Immun 2003, 71:6712-20.

Zughaier SM, Tzeng Y-L, Zimmer SM, Datta A, Carlson RW, and Stephens DS. Neisseria meningitidis lipooligosaccharide structure-dependent activation of the macrophage CD14/Toll-like receptor 4 pathway. Infect Immun, 2004, 72:371-80.

Tzeng Y-L, Datta A, Ambrose K, Lo M, Davies JK, Carlson, RW, Stephens DS, and Kahler CM. The misR/misS two-component regulatory system influences inner core structure and immunotype of lipooligosaccharide in Neisseria meningitidis. J Biol Chem 2004, 279: 35053-62.

Gudlavalleti S, Datta A, Tzeng Y-L, Carlson RW, and Stephens DS. The Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A capsular polysaccharide O-3 and O-4 acetyltransferase. J Biol Chem 2004, 279: 42765-73.

Tzeng Y-L, Datta A, Strole CA, Lobritz MA, Carlson RW, and Stephens DS. Translocation and surface expression of lipidated serogroup B capsular polysaccharide in Neisseria meningitidis. Infect Immun, 2005, 73:1491-505.

Kahler CM, Datta A, Tzeng Y-L, Carlson RW, and Stephens DS. Inner core assembly and structure of the lipooligosaccharide of Neisseria meningitidis: capacity of strain NMB to express all known immunotype epitopes. Glycobiology, 2005, 15:409-19.

Tzeng Y-L, Ambrose K, Zughaier SM, Zhou, X, Miller YK, Shafer, WM, and Stephens DS. Cationic antimicrobial peptide resistance in Neisseria meningitidis. J Bacteriol, 2005,187:5387-5396.

Katzif S, Lee E-H, Law AB, Tzeng Y-L and Shafer WM. CspA regulates pigment production by Staphylococcus aureus through a SigB-dependent mechanism. J Bacteriol, 2005, 187: 8181-4.

Tzeng Y-L, Zhou, X, Bao, S, Zhao, S, Noble, C and Stephens DS. Autoregulation of the MisR/MisS two-component signal transduction system in Neisseria meningitidis. J Bacteriol. 2006, 188:5055-65.