Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology Faculty

Clayton C. Caswell, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology


  • 2008
    Ph.D., Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology
    West Virginia University
  • 2004
    B.S., Biomedical Science and Entomology
    Texas A&M University

Research Interests

  • Roles of small regulatory RNAs in the biology of Brucella spp.
  • Mechanisms of interactions between bacteria and hosts
  • Common regulatory pathways in related bacteria

Professional Experience

  • 2013 – Present
    Assistant Professor
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 2009 – 2012
    Postdoctoral Scholar
    East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine

Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Entomological Society of America

Honors & Awards

  • 2013
    Recipent of the Mäkelä-Cassell Travel Award for Early Career Scientists from the American Society for Microbiology and the Federation of European Microbiology Societies

Selected Publications

  1. Caswell, C.C., Lukomska, E., Seo, N.-S., Höök, M., and Lukomski, S. (2007) Scl1-dependent internalization of group A Streptococcus via direct interactions with the α2β1 integrin enhances pathogen survival and re-emergence. Mol. Microbiol. 64: 1319-1331.
  2. Caswell, C.C., Han, R., Hovis, K.M., Ciborowski, P., Keene, D.R., Marconi, R.T., and Lukomski, S. (2008) The Scl1 protein of M6-type group A Streptococcus binds the human complement regulatory protein, factor H, and inhibits the alternative pathway of complement. Mol. Microbiol. 67: 584-596.
  3. Caswell, C.C., Barczyk, M., Keene, D.R., Lukomska, E., Gullberg, D.E., and Lukomski, S. (2008) Identification of the first prokaryotic collagen sequence motif that mediates binding to human collagen receptors, integrins α2β1 and α11β1. J. Biol. Chem. 283: 36168-36175.
  4. Caswell, C.C., Oliver-Kozup, H., Han, R., Lukomska, E., and Lukomski, S. (2009) Scl1, the multifunctional adhesin of group A Streptococcus selectively binds cellular fibronectin and laminin, and mediates pathogen internalization by human cells. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 303: 61-68.
  5. Roop, R.M., Gaines, J.M., Anderson, E.S., Caswell, C.C., and Martin, D.W. (2009) Survival of the fittest: how Brucella strains adapt to their intracellular niche in the host. Med. Microbiol. Immunol. 198: 221-238.
  6. Caswell, C.C., Gaines, J.M., and Roop, R.M. II (2012) The RNA chaperone Hfq independently coordinates expression of the VirB type IV secretion system and the LuxR-type regulator, BabR, in Brucella abortus 2308. J. Bacteriol. 194: 3-14.
  7. Menscher, E.A., Caswell, C.C., Anderson, E.S., and Roop, R.M. II (2012) Mur regulates the gene encoding the manganese transporter MntH in Brucella abortus 2308. J. Bacteriol. 194: 561-566.
  8. Caswell, C.C., Gaines, J.M., Ciborowski, P., Smith D., Borchers, C.H., Roux, C.M., Dunman, P.M., and Roop R.M. II (2012) Identification and characterization of two small regulatory RNAs linked to virulence in Brucella abortus 2308. Mol. Microbiol. 85: 345-360.
  9. Caswell, C.C., Baumgartner, J.E., Martin, D.W., and Roop R.M. II (2012) Characterization of the organic hydroperoxide resistance system of Brucella abortus 2308. J. Bacteriol. 194: 5065-5072.
  10. Caswell, C.C., Elhassanny, A.E.M., Planchin, E.E., Roux, C.M., Weeks-Gorospe, J.N., Ficht, T.A., Dunman, P.M., and Roop R.M. II (2012). The diverse genetic regulon of the virulence-associated transcriptional regulator MucR in Brucella abortus 2308. Infect. Immun. In press.