Rebecca Lamason

Rebecca Lamason

Associate Professor of Biology

Rebecca Lamason investigates what happens when cellular functions are hijacked by unwanted interlopers: namely, the bacteria that engender diseases like spotted fever and meningitis.





Building 68 - Koch Biology Building


Gina Lee



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 2011, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • BS, 2002, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Millersville University

Research Summary

In the Lamason lab, we investigate how intracellular bacterial pathogens hijack host cell processes to promote infection. In particular, we study how Rickettsia parkeri and Listeria monocytogenes move through our tissues via a process called cell-to-cell spread. We utilize cellular, molecular, genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches to elucidate the mechanisms of spread in order to reveal key aspects of pathogenesis and host cell biology.


  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award, 2015

Recent Publications

  1. Pathogenic Rickettsia spp. as emerging models for bacterial biology. Sit, B, Lamason, RL. 2024. J Bacteriol , e0040423.
    doi: 10.1128/jb.00404-23PMID:38315013
  2. Cell-selective proteomics reveal novel effectors secreted by an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen. Sanderlin, AG, Margolis, HK, Meyer, AF, Lamason, RL. 2023. bioRxiv , .
    doi: 10.1101/2023.11.17.567466PMID:38014272
  3. An obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen forms a direct, interkingdom membrane contact site. Acevedo-Sánchez, Y, Woida, PJ, Kraemer, S, Lamason, RL. 2023. bioRxiv , .
    doi: 10.1101/2023.06.05.543771PMID:37333133
  4. The Ankyrin Repeat Protein RARP-1 Is a Periplasmic Factor That Supports Rickettsia parkeri Growth and Host Cell Invasion. Sanderlin, AG, Hanna, RE, Lamason, RL. 2022. J Bacteriol 204, e0018222.
    doi: 10.1128/jb.00182-22PMID:35727033
  5. Rickettsia parkeri. Scott, AT, Vondrak, CJ, Sanderlin, AG, Lamason, RL. 2022. Trends Microbiol 30, 511-512.
    doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2022.01.001PMID:35115187
  6. The enigmatic biology of rickettsiae: recent advances, open questions and outlook. McGinn, J, Lamason, RL. 2021. Pathog Dis 79, .
    doi: 10.1093/femspd/ftab019PMID:33784388
  7. RNAi screen reveals a role for PACSIN2 and caveolins during bacterial cell-to-cell spread. Sanderlin, AG, Vondrak, C, Scricco, AJ, Fedrigo, I, Ahyong, V, Lamason, RL. 2019. Mol Biol Cell 30, 2124-2133.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E19-04-0197PMID:31242077
  8. A streamlined method for transposon mutagenesis of Rickettsia parkeri yields numerous mutations that impact infection. Lamason, RL, Kafai, NM, Welch, MD. 2018. PLoS One 13, e0197012.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197012PMID:29723287
  9. Actin-based motility and cell-to-cell spread of bacterial pathogens. Lamason, RL, Welch, MD. 2017. Curr Opin Microbiol 35, 48-57.
    doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.11.007PMID:27997855
  10. Rickettsia Sca4 Reduces Vinculin-Mediated Intercellular Tension to Promote Spread. Lamason, RL, Bastounis, E, Kafai, NM, Serrano, R, Del Álamo, JC, Theriot, JA, Welch, MD. 2016. Cell 167, 670-683.e10.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.023PMID:27768890
More Publications