Lesley T. MacNeil, PhD


Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences


Office: HSC 4H17
Extension: 26523

Lab: HSC 3N11B
Extension: 21256

Research Areas

Using the nematode C. elegans as a model system, we investigate the mechanisms by which diet and microbiota influence health, development, disease susceptibility, and disease progression.  Our research focuses on the identification and characterization of factors introduced through the diet or produced by microbiota that influence cellular metabolic and signal transduction pathways. We are particularly interested in identifying mechanisms through which these factors affect nervous system function and maintenance.

A second focus of our lab is the identification of gene-environment interactions. Environmental factors, such as diet and microbiota, can influence our health both positively and negatively. The impact of environment on disease severity may depend on interactions between genetic and environmental factors. We are employing high-throughput approaches to perform genome-scale mapping of gene-environment interactions to identify gene mutations that increase susceptibility to specific environmental factors. Through this unbiased approach we hope to identify previously unpredicted connections between microbiota, diet, and disease.

  1. Hu, Q, D'Amora, DR, MacNeil, LT, Walhout, AJM, Kubiseski, TJ. The Oxidative Stress Response Requires the NHR-49 Transcription Factor. G3 (Bethesda). 2018;8 (12):3857-3863. doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200727. PubMed PMID:30297383 PubMed Central PMC6288832.
  2. Marko, VA, Kilmury, SLN, MacNeil, LT, Burrows, LL. Pseudomonas aeruginosa type IV minor pilins and PilY1 regulate virulence by modulating FimS-AlgR activity. PLoS Pathog. 2018;14 (5):e1007074. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007074. PubMed PMID:29775484 PubMed Central PMC5979040.
  3. Yan, A, Culp, E, Perry, J, Lau, JT, MacNeil, LT, Surette, MG et al.. Transformation of the Anticancer Drug Doxorubicin in the Human Gut Microbiome. ACS Infect Dis. 2018;4 (1):68-76. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00166. PubMed PMID:29160065 .
  4. Hu, Q, D'Amora, DR, MacNeil, LT, Walhout, AJM, Kubiseski, TJ. The Oxidative Stress Response in Requires the GATA Transcription Factor ELT-3 and SKN-1/Nrf2. Genetics. 2017;206 (4):1909-1922. doi: 10.1534/genetics.116.198788. PubMed PMID:28600327 PubMed Central PMC5560797.
  5. Rashid, S, MacNeil, LT. Packing on the Pounds in Response to Bacterial Growth Conditions. Dev. Cell. 2017;41 (4):335-336. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2017.05.010. PubMed PMID:28535369 .
  6. Leulier, F, MacNeil, LT, Lee, WJ, Rawls, JF, Cani, PD, Schwarzer, M et al.. Integrative Physiology: At the Crossroads of Nutrition, Microbiota, Animal Physiology, and Human Health. Cell Metab. 2017;25 (3):522-534. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.02.001. PubMed PMID:28273475 PubMed Central PMC6200423.
  7. MacNeil, LT, Pons, C, Arda, HE, Giese, GE, Myers, CL, Walhout, AJ et al.. Transcription Factor Activity Mapping of a Tissue-Specific Gene Regulatory Network. Cell Syst. 2015;1 (2):152-162. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2015.08.003. PubMed PMID:26430702 PubMed Central PMC4584425.
  8. Conte, D Jr, MacNeil, LT, Walhout, AJ, Mello, CC. RNA Interference in Caenorhabditis elegans. Curr Protoc Mol Biol. 2015;109 :26.3.1-30. doi: 10.1002/0471142727.mb2603s109. PubMed PMID:25559107 PubMed Central PMC5396541.
  9. Bansal, A, Kwon, ES, Conte, D Jr, Liu, H, Gilchrist, MJ, MacNeil, LT et al.. Transcriptional regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans FOXO/DAF-16 modulates lifespan. Longev Healthspan. 2014;3 :5. doi: 10.1186/2046-2395-3-5. PubMed PMID:24834345 PubMed Central PMC4022319.
  10. Macneil, LT, Walhout, AJ. Food, pathogen, signal: The multifaceted nature of a bacterial diet. Worm. 2013;2 (4):e26454. doi: 10.4161/worm.26454. PubMed PMID:24744980 PubMed Central PMC3917966.
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