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Joseph J. Gillespie

Joseph J. Gillespie Ph.D.

Academic Title: Assistant Professor
Primary Appointment: Microbiology and Immunology
Location: HSFII, 431
Phone: 410-706-3337
Fax: 410-706-0282
Lab: 410-706-3337

Personal History:

Joseph J. Gillespie was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, PA. In 1998 he obtained his BS degree from Widener University, studying the effects of controlled fire on arthropod populations in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. He continued to study arthropods in his MS (University of Delaware) and Ph.D. (Texas A&M University) programs, specializing in molecular evolution and phylogenetics. In 2006 he was hired by the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech to study the bioinformatics of arthropod-borne bacteria. Since then he has developed an interest in the biology of obligate intracellular bacteria, especially rickettsiae. Of particular interest is the manner in which these bacteria coevolve with their eukaryotic hosts. He is also a Visiting Research Associate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. He resides with his family in Maryland.

Research Interests:

Molecular Evolutionary Biology, Genomics, Microbiology


Publications on PubMed

  1. Kang, Y.J., Diao, X.N., Zhao, G.Y., Chen, M.H., Xiong, Y., Shi, M., Fu, W.M., Guo, Y.J., Pan, B., Chen, X.P., Holmes, E.C., Gillespie, J.J., Dumler, S.J., Zhang, Y.Z.  (2014)  Extensive diversity of Rickettsiales bacteria in two species of ticks from China and the evolution of the Rickettsiales.  BMC Evol Biol. 14:167.
  2. Gillespie, J.J., Kaur, S.J., Rahman, M.S., Rennoll-Bankert, K., Sears, K.T., Beier-Sexton, M., Azad, A.F.  (2014)  Secretome of obligate intracellular RickettsiaFEMS Microbiol Rev. doi: 10.1111/1574-6976.12084.
  3. Gillespie, J.J., Driscoll T, Verhoeve VI, Utsuki T, Husseneder C, Chouljenko VN, Azad AF, Macaluso KR.  (2014)  Genomic diversification in strains of Rickettsia felis isolated from different arthropods. Genome biology and evolution.
  4. Driscoll, T. *, Gillespie, J.J. *, Nordberg, E., Azad, A.F., Sobral, B.W. (2013) Bacterial DNA sifted from the Trichoplax adhaerens (Animalia: Placozoa) genome project reveals a putative rickettsial endosymbiont. Genome Biology and Evolution. 5: 621-645. *equal author contribution.
  5. Rahman M.S., Gillespie, J.J., Kaur, S., Sears, K.T., Ceraul, S.M., Beier-Sexton, M., Azad, A.F. (2013) Rickettsia typhi possesses phospholipase A2 enzymes that are involved in infection of host cells. PLoS Pathogens. 9(6):e1003399.
  6. Choy, A., Severo, M.S., Sun, R., Girke, T., Gillespie, J.J., Pedra, J.H.F. (2013) Decoding the Ubiquitome of Arthropod Disease Vectors. PLoS ONE 8:e78077.
  7. Wattam, A.R., Abraham, D., Dalay, O., Disz, T.L., Driscoll, T., Gabbard, J., Gillespie, J.J., Gough, R., Hix, D., Kenyon, R.W., Machi, D., Mao, C., Nordberg, E.K., Olson, R., Overbeek, R., Pusch, G.D., Shukla, M.P., Schulman, J.R., Stevens, R.L., Sullivan, D.E., Vonstein, V., Warren, A., Will, R., Wilson, M.J.C., Yoo, H.S., Zhang, C., Zhang, Y., Sobral, B.W. (2013) PATRIC, the Bioinformatics Resource Center for bacterial data. Nucleic Acids Research (Database Issue). In press.
  8. Sears, K.T., et al., Surface proteome analysis and characterization of surface cell antigen (Sca) or autotransporter family of Rickettsia typhi. PLoS Pathog, 2012. 8(8): p. e1002856.
  9. .Kaur, S.J., et al., TolC-Dependent Secretion of an Ankyrin Repeat-Containing Protein of Rickettsia typhi. J Bacteriol, 2012. 194(18): p. 4920-32.
  10. Kappmeyer, L.S., et al., Comparative genomic analysis and phylogenetic position of Theileria equi. BMC Genomics, 2012. 13: p. 603.
  11. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Phylogeny and Comparative Genomics: The Shifting Landscape in the Genomics Era, in Intracellular Pathogens II: Rickettsiales, A.F. Azad and G.H. Palmer, Editors. 2012, American Society of Microbiology: Boston. p. 84-141.
  12. Gillespie, J.J., et al., A Rickettsia genome overrun by mobile genetic elements provides insight into the acquisition of genes characteristic of an obligate intracellular lifestyle. J Bacteriol, 2012. 194(2): p. 376-94.
  13. Gillespie, J.J., et al., PATRIC: the comprehensive bacterial bioinformatics resource with a focus on human pathogenic species. Infect Immun, 2011. 79(11): p. 4286-98.
  14. Ananiadou, S., et al., Named entity recognition for bacterial Type IV secretion systems. PLoS One, 2011. 6(3): p. e14780.
  15. Williams, K.P., et al., Phylogeny of gammaproteobacteria. J Bacteriol, 2010. 192(9): p. 2305-14.
  16. Sutten, E.L., et al., Anaplasma marginale type IV secretion system proteins VirB2, VirB7, VirB11, and VirD4 are immunogenic components of a protective bacterial membrane vaccine. Infect Immun, 2010. 78(3): p. 1314-25.
  17. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Phylogenomics reveals a diverse Rickettsiales type IV secretion system. Infect Immun, 2010. 78(5): p. 1809-23.
  18. Dreher-Lesnick, S.M., et al., Analysis of Rickettsia typhi-infected and uninfected cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) midgut cDNA libraries: deciphering molecular pathways involved in host response to R. typhi infection. Insect Mol Biol, 2010. 19(2): p. 229-41.
  19. Marvaldi, A.E., et al., Structural alignment of 18S and 28S rDNA sequences provides insights into the phylogeny of Phytophaga and related beetles (Coleoptera: Cucujiformia). Zoologica Scripta, 2009. 38: p. 63-77.
  20. Kjos, S.A., et al., Detection of Blastocrithidia spp. (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) in Chagas disease vectors from Texas, USA. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis, 2009. 9(2): p. 213-6.
  21. Kjer, K.M., U. Roshan, and J.J. Gillespie, Structural and evolutionary considerations for multiple sequence alignment of RNA, and the challenges for algorithms that ignore them, in Sequence Alignment: Methods, Models, Concepts, and Strategies, M.S. Rosenberg, Editor 2009, University of California Press. p. 105-149
  22. Gillespie, J.J., et al., An anomalous type IV secretion system in Rickettsia is evolutionarily conserved. PLoS ONE, 2009. 4(3): p. e4833.
  23. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Louse- and flea-borne rickettsioses: biological and genomic analyses. Vet Res, 2009. 40(2): p. 12.
  24. Ammerman, N.C., et al., A typhus group-specific protease defies reductive evolution in rickettsiae. J Bacteriol, 2009. 191(24): p. 7609-13.
  25. Jordal, B., J.J. Gillespie, and A.I. Cognato, Secondary structure alignment and direct optimization of 28S rDNA sequences provide limited phylogenetic resolution in bark and ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Zoologica Scripta, 2008. 37: p. 43-56.
  26. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Rickettsia phylogenomics: unwinding the intricacies of obligate intracellular life. PLoS ONE, 2008. 3(4): p. e2018.
  27. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Molecular phylogeny of rootworms and related galerucine beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Zoologica Scripta, 2008. 37: p. 195-222.
  28. Azad, A., M.S. Beier, and J.J. Gillespie, The Rickettsiaceae, in Practical Handbook of Microbiology, L.G.a.E. Goldman, Editor 2008, CRC Press. p. 439-450.
  29. Snyder, E.E., et al., PATRIC: the VBI PathoSystems Resource Integration Center. Nucleic Acids Res, 2007. 35(Database issue): p. D401-6.
  30. Kjer, K.M., J.J. Gillespie, and K.A. Ober, Opinions on multiple sequence alignment, and an empirical comparison of repeatability and accuracy between POY and structural alignment. Syst Biol, 2007. 56(1): p. 133-46.
  31. Kathirithamby, J., et al., Cordelia’s dilemma: High nucleotide divergence with morphological stasis - How does this happen in a dimorphic parasite with disparate hosts? Zootaxa, 2007. 1636: p. 59-68.
  32. Hines, H.M., et al., Multigene phylogeny reveals eusociality evolved twice in vespid wasps. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2007. 104(9): p. 3295-9.
  33. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Plasmids and rickettsial evolution: insight from Rickettsia felis. PLoS ONE, 2007. 2(3): p. e266.
  34. Ceraul, S.M., et al., New tick defensin isoform and antimicrobial gene expression in response to Rickettsia montanensis challenge. Infect Immun, 2007. 75(4): p. 1973-83.
  35. Wharton, R.A., et al., Relationships of Exodontiella, a non-alysiine, exodont member of the family Braconidae (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Zoologica Scripta, 2006. 35: p. 323-340.
  36. Kjer, K.M., J.J. Gillespie, and K.A. Ober, Structural homology in ribosomal RNA, and a deliberation on POY. Arthropod Systematics & Phylogenetics 2006. 64: p. 159-164.
  37. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Characteristics of the nuclear (18S, 5.8S, 28S and 5S) and mitochondrial (12S and 16S) rRNA genes of Apis mellifera (Insecta: Hymenoptera): structure, organization, and retrotransposable elements. Insect Mol Biol, 2006. 15(5): p. 657-86.
  38. Deans, A.R., J.J. Gillespie, and M.J. Yoder, An evaluation of ensign wasp classification (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae) based on molecular data and insights from ribosomal RNA secondary structure. Systematic Entomology, 2006. 31: p. 517-528.
  39. Consortium, H.B.G.S., Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera. Nature, 2006. 443(7114): p. 931-49.
  40. Tallamy, D.W., et al., Western corn rootworm, cucurbits, and cucurbitacins, in Ecology and Management of Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte), S.Vidal, U. Kuhlmann, and R. Edwards, Editors. 2005, CABI publishers: Wallingford, United Kingdom. p. 67-93.
  41. Gillespie, J.J., M.J. Yoder, and R.A. Wharton, Predicted secondary structure for 28S and 18S rRNA from Ichneumonoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apocrita): impact on sequence alignment and phylogeny estimation. J Mol Evol, 2005. 61(1): p. 114-37.
  42. Gillespie, J.J., et al., A secondary structural model of the 28S rRNA expansion segments D2 and D3 for Chalcidoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Mol Biol Evol, 2005. 22(7): p. 1593-608.
  43. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Assessing the odd secondary structural properties of nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA sequences (18S) of the twisted-wing parasites (Insecta: Strepsiptera). Insect Mol Biol, 2005. 14(6): p. 625-43.
  44. Gillespie, J.J., et al., The evolution of cucurbitacin pharmacophagy in rootworms: Insight from Luperini paraphyly, in New Developments on The Biology of Chrysomelidae, P.H. Jolivet, J.A. Santiago-Blay, and M. Schmitt, Editors. 2004, Kluwer Academic: Boston, MA. p. 37-58.
  45. Gillespie, J.J., Characterizing regions of ambiguous alignment caused by the expansion and contraction of hairpin-stem loops in ribosomal RNA molecules. Mol Phylogenet Evol, 2004. 33(3): p. 936-43.
  46. Gillespie, J., et al., A secondary structural model of the 28S rRNA expansion segments D2 and D3 from rootworms and related leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; Galerucinae). Insect Mol Biol, 2004. 13(5): p. 495-518.
  47. Duckett, C.N., J.J. Gillespie, and K.M. Kjer, Reanalysis of Chrysomelidae data (18S) based on homology assessments, in New Developments on The Biology of Chrysomelidae, P.H. Jolivet, J.A. Santiago-Blay, and M. Schmitt, Editors. 2004, Kluwer Academic: Boston, MA. p. 3-18.
  48. Gillespie, J.J., et al., Convergent evolution of cucurbitacin feeding in spatially isolated rootworm taxa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae; Galerucinae, Luperini). Mol Phylogenet Evol, 2003. 29(1): p. 161-75.
  49. Gillespie, J.J., C.N. Duckett, and K.M. Kjer, Identification of a gene region that gives good phylogenetic signal for determining high level divergences within alticine and galerucine chrysomelids. Chrysomela 2001. 40/41: p. 10-11.