Serguei Popov, Ph.D, D.Sc, Professor



Dr Popov has a broad background in biochemistry and microbiology. He graduated from the Novosobirsk State University, Russia, and received his postdoctoral training at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russia, and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK. From 1976 till 1992, as Department Head and Project Manager, he performed research on synthetic DNA and its application in the field of infectious disease in Russia. Since 1993, Dr Popov works in the USA. During his scientific carrier, Dr Popov served as a Lead Scientist, co-PI, and PI on several projects funded by DARPA, NIH, DOD, and DOE. Dr. Popov is widely published, having written more than a hundred papers in scientific journals including Nature, Molecular Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Biological Chemistry.  His research has been recognized by the USSR Government by awards for outstanding achievements in research and development. Dr. Popov teaches graduate microbiological courses at George Mason University. He has also served as an invited speaker at national and international conferences, seminars, workshops on the topics of biodefense, new emerging technologies and biological weapons, including the presentation to the US Senate, DTRA, EPA, Japan National Security Group, etc. His research has been featured in the books, TV shows, interviews, and articles such as: The Dead Hand by David Hoffman, Biohazard by K. Alibek, Germs by J. Miller et al., Plague by W. Orent, National Geographic ’s  Bioterrorism. Assult on the Human Body, BBC’s The War Report: On the Record Special, BBC’s Special on Biological Weapons, ABC’s History International: Global View, ABC’s The Last Days of Earth, ABC’s Deadly Enemies, NOVA’s Bioterror, The Technology Reviews article, The Knowledge by Mark Pontin. He has also been referenced in the articles by Newsweek, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun.

Research Interests

Infectious disease, proteomics and cell signaling of the host in response to infection, bacterial toxins, development of therapeutic approaches for protection from biological threat agents.

Research Programs

From 1993 till 2000, Dr. Popov did research at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, on immunology of T-cell receptors and intracellular G protein signaling. Since 2000, his research concentrated on the pathogenesis of anthrax as a potential biothreat. Anthrax is very difficult to treat at the advanced, systemic stage when a number of pathogenic factors, including the anthrax toxins, damage the host cells. The host cell response is important for induction of the protective immunity and therefore the bacilli developed the ways to suppress it by different mechanisms. Dr. Popov’s recent interest in this field is the application of proteomics technologies to the analyses of host response to infection in order to discover new therapeutic modalities against anthrax. His research also involves discovery of disease biomarkers to predict the outcome and to monitor the progression of treatment during infection.

Selected Publications

Popov SG, Popova TG, Kashanchi F, Bailey C. Targeting the inflammasome and adenosine type-3 receptors improves outcome of antibiotic therapy in murine anthrax. World J Biol Chem 2011. 2(5):98-104. PMID: 21666812

Chung MC, Tonry JH, Narayanan A, Manes NP, Mackie RS, Gutting B, Mukherjee DV, Popova TG, Kashanchi F, Bailey CL, Popov SG. Bacillus anthracis interacts with plasmin(ogen) to evade C3b-dependent innate immunity. PLoS One 2011. 6(3):e18119. PMID: 21464960

Mukherjee DV, Tonry JH, Kim KS, Ramarao N, Popova TG, Bailey C, Popov S, Chung MC. Bacillus anthracis protease InhA increases blood-brain barrier permeability and contributes to cerebral hemorrhages. PLoS One 2011. 6(3):e17921.PMID: 21437287

Popova TG, Turell MJ, Espina V, Kehn-Hall K, Kidd J, Narayanan A, Liotta L, Petricoin EF 3rd, Kashanchi F, Bailey C, Popov SG. Reverse-phase phosphoproteome analysis of signaling pathways induced by Rift valley fever virus in human small airway epithelial cells. PLoS One 2010. 5(11):e13805. PMID: 21072193

T Popova, B Millis,  M.-C. Chung, C Bailey, S G Popov. Anthrolysin O and Fermentation Products Mediate Toxicity of Bacillus anthracis to Lung Epithelial Cells in Microaerobic Conditions. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2011. 61(1):15-27. PMID: 20946354

A Narayanan, W Zhou, M Ross, J Tang, L Liotta, E Petricoin, F Kashanchi, C Bailey, S Popov. Discovery of Infectious Disease Biomarkers in Murine Anthrax Model Using Mass Spectrometry of the Low-Molecular-Mass Serum Proteome. J Proteomics Bioinform 2009. 2(9):408-415. PMID: 15709039

T Popova, V Espina, C Bailey, L Liotta, E Petricoin and S Popov. Anthrax infection inhibits the AKT signaling involved in the E-cadherin-mediated adhesion of lung epithelial cells. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 2009. 56 (2):129-142. PMID: 19416348