Anupama Khare, Ph.D.

Anupama Khare, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Molecular Biology


The Khare Laboratory is interested in complex microbial behaviors, and utilizes quantitative genome-scale approaches to study the underlying mechanisms. Our main focus is to understand how different microbial species exist together in the same environmental niche, and what the molecular interactions in such communities are. We are also interested in studying antibiotic resistance, and identifying novel bacterial pathways that can be targeted for antimicrobial therapy.

Areas of Expertise

Microbial Interactions
Antibiotic Resistance


Selected Key Publications

Interspecies secreted surfactants induce emergent motility in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Warrell DM, Zarrella TM, Machalek C, Khare A.

Multifactorial competition and resistance in a two-species bacterial system

Khare A, Tavazoie S.
PLoS Genetics. 11(12): e1005715, 2015.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

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Green Pseudomonas aeruginosa cell surrounded by molecules secreted by nearby purple Staphylococcus aureus cells

Systematic identification of molecular mediators of interspecies sensing in a community of two frequently coinfecting bacterial pathogens

Published Date

Bacteria typically exist in dynamic, multispecies communities where polymicrobial interactions influence fitness. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions is critical for understanding and modulating bacterial behavior in natural environments. While bacterial responses to foreign species are frequently characterized at the molecular and phenotypic level, the exogenous molecules that elicit these responses are understudied. Here, Zarrella and Khare outline a systematic strategy based on transcriptomics combined with genetic and biochemical screens of promoter–reporters to identify the molecules from one species that are sensed by another. The authors used this method to study interactions between the pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus that are frequently found in coinfections. They discovered that P. aeruginosa senses diverse staphylococcal exoproducts including the metallophore staphylopine (StP), intermediate metabolites citrate and acetoin, and multiple molecules that modulate its iron starvation response. They observed that StP inhibits biofilm formation and that P. aeruginosa can utilize citrate and acetoin for growth, revealing that these interactions have both antagonistic and beneficial effects. The image shows an artistic rendering of a P. aeruginosa cell (green) amidst exoproducts (small cyan and blue spheres) secreted by surrounding S. aureus cells (dark blue).


Zarrella TM, Khare A (2022) Systematic identification of molecular mediators of interspecies sensing in a community of two frequently coinfecting bacterial pathogens. PLoS Biol 20(6): e3001679.