Gerard A. Cangelosi, PhD

Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology
Adjunct Professor, Global Health
Dr. Cangelosi has worked extensively on infectious diseases, most notably in the areas of molecular diagnostics, environmental pathogens (especially detection and exposure issues), and epidemiology. His work in both public and private sectors has generated 8 patents, 2 product launches, 1 start-up company launch, and over 60 publications. These projects have addressed tuberculosis and related diseases, waterborne pathogens, enteric disease, periodontal disease, and hospital acquired infections, all of which constitute significant exposure threats in Washington and worldwide.

Contact Information

University of Washington
Office: Suite 100
Box: 354695
4225 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195-9472
Tel: 206-543-2005

Research Interests

  • Infectious disease exposure and diagnosis, focusing on mycobaterial diseases


PhD, Microbiology, University of California (Davis), 1984


  • Understanding human exposure to tuberculosis and related diseases. 
Transmission and exposure are among the most poorly understood aspects of bacterial disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a globally important microbial pathogen, and related environmental mycobacteria are useful models for understanding how infectious diseases emerge and spread. Molecular and epidemiological methods are being used to characterize the host, pathogen, and environmental factors involved in the acquisition of mycobacterial infections.
  • Molecular detection of pathogens in environmental and clinical samples. As a method for detecting microorganisms in samples, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is fast, sensitive, and specific. However, its widespread use is limited by its inability to distinguish viable pathogen cells from dead cells and free nucleic acid fragments. We have shown that PCR tests for ribosomal RNA precursors (pre-rRNA) can overcome this problem. We are developing pre-rRNA tests for pathogen detection in environmental as well as clinical samples. This work is being pursued in collaboration with a commercial licensee, AttoDx, Inc.
  • Improved biomarker discovery tools for infectious disease diagnosis. 
High-throughput methods are being developed to generate novel antibody-like "probes" for pathogen molecules in patient and environmental samples. In an NIH-funded project entitled "Accelerated Molecular Probe Pipeline," these methods are being used to identify new biomarkers of intestinal amoeba infections. The project is an international collaboration with partners in the United States, Australia, and Bangladesh.
  • Tuberculosis biomarkers and diagnosis. We are working to identify biomarkers of active TB and to develop improved point-of-care tools for detecting TB biomarkers in patient samples.
Selected Publications
  • Cangelosi GA., KM Weigel, C Lefthand-Begay, and JS Meschke. (2010). Molecular detection of viable bacterial pathogens in water by ratiometric pre-rRNA analysis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76:960-962. PMID: 19948855
  • Gray SA, Barr JR, Kalb SR, Marks JD, Baird CL, Cangelosi GA, Miller KD, Feldhaus MJ (2011). Synergistic capture of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin by scFv antibodies to novel epitopes. Biotechnol Bioeng. 108:2456-2467. PMID: 21538339
  • Vandeventer PE, Weigel KM, Salazar J, Erwin B, Irvine B, Doebler R, Nadim A, Cangelosi GA, and Niemz A (2011). Mechanical Disruption of Lysis-Resistant Bacteria using a Miniature, Low Power, Disposable Device. J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Jul;49(7):2533-9. PMID: 21543569
  • Aitken ML, Limaye A, Pottinger P, Whimbey E, Goss CH, Tonelli MR, Cangelosi GA, Ashworth-Dirac M, Olivier KN, Brown-Elliot BA, McNulty S, and Wallace RJ (2012). Respiratory Outbreak of Mycobacterium abscessus Subspecies massiliense in a Lung Transplant and Cystic Fibrosis Center. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 185: 231-232. PMID: 22246710
  • Gray SA, Weigel KM, Ali IKA, Lakey AA, Capalungan J, Domingo GJ, and Cangelosi GA (2012). Toward Low-Cost Affinity Reagents: Lyophilized Yeast-scFv Probes Specific for Pathogen Antigens. PLoS ONE, 7(2):e32042. PMID: 22363793
  • Kim JH, Yeo WH, Shu ZQ, Soelberg SD, Inoue S, Kalyanasundaram D, Ludwig J, Furlong CE, Riley J, Weigel K, Cangelosi GA, Oh K, Lee KH, Gao D, and Chung JH (2012). Immunosensor toward low-cast, rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis. Lab on a Chip 12(8):1437-40. Epub 2012. PMID: 22395572
  • Ali IKM, Haque R, Siddique A, Kabir M, Sherman ME, Gray SA, Cangelosi GA, and Petri WA (2012). Proteomic Analysis of the Cyst Stage of Entamoeba histolytica. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6(5):e1643. Epub 2012. PMID: 2259065
  • Dirac MA, Horan KL, Doody DR, Meschke JS, Park DR, Jackson LA, Weiss NS, Winthrop KL, Cangelosi GA (2012). Environment or host?:  A case-control study of risk factors for Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. Oct 1;186(7):684-91. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201205-0825OC. Epub 2012 Aug 2. PubMed PMID: 22859521
  • Grewal YS, Shiddiky MJ, Gray SA, Weigel KM, Cangelosi GA, Trau M (2013). Label-free electrochemical detection of an Entamoeba histolytica antigen using cell-free yeast-scFv probes. Chem Commun 49(15):1551-3. PMC3564640.
  • Weigel KM, Jones KL, Do JS, Witt JM, Chung JH, Valcke C, Cangelosi GA (2013).  Molecular viability testing of bacterial pathogens in a complex human sample matrix. PLoS ONE, 8(1):e54886. PMC3554692.
  • Grewal YS, Shiddiky MJ, Spadafora LJ, Cangelosi GA, Trau M (2013). Nano-yeast-scFv probes on screen-printed gold electrodes for detection of Entamoeba histolytica antigens in a biological matrix. Biosens Bioelectron. 55C:417-422 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24434498.
  • Do JS, Weigel KM, Meschke JS, Cangelosi GA (2014). Biosynthetic enhancement of the detection of bacteria by the polymerase chain reaction. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86433. PMID: 24466092.
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