Zhiming Ouyang

Zhiming Ouyang, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine

Assistant Professor, College of Medicine Molecular Medicine

Contact Info 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
MDC 3015
Tampa FL 33612

Academic Email: zouyang@health.usf.edu

Academic Phone:(813) 974-3325

View My C.V.


  • PhD, Comparative & Molecular Biosciences, University of Minnesota, 2007

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Disease
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology

Research Interests

  • Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne illness in the Northern Hemisphere and USA, is caused by the spirochetal pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi. Bacterial infection and dissemination culminates in a multisystem inflammatory illness with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations including arthritis, carditis, and neuroborreliosis. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through Ixodes ticks. To establish infection and to cause disease, B. burgdorferi must maintain its tick-mammal life cycle. It remains enigmatic how this recalcitrant pathogen interacts with ticks and animals to establish its persistence and cause tissue damages. Research in my laboratory is to understand how B. burgdorferi exploits complex genetic networks to decipher disparate tick and mammal signals and tailor its transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and surface architecture for host adaptation.


  • American Heart Association (Member, 2010 - Present)
  • Sigma XI (Member, 2009 - Present)
  • American Society for Microbiology (Member, 2006 - Present)

Recent Publications

  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J. The putative Walker A and Walker B motifs of Rrp2 are required for the growth of Borrelia burgdorferi. Molecular microbiology. 103(1) : 86-98, 2017. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27696536
  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J, Norgard MV. Evidence that BosR (BB0647) Is a Positive Autoregulator in Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and immunity. 84(9) : 2566-74, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27324485
  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J. BadR (BB0693) controls growth phase-dependent induction of rpoS and bosR in Borrelia burgdorferi via recognizing TAAAATAT motifs. Molecular microbiology. 98(6) : 1147-67, 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26331438
  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J, Norgard MV. Synthesis of RpoS is dependent on a putative enhancer binding protein Rrp2 in Borrelia burgdorferi. PloS one. 9(5) : e96917, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24810170
  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J, Brautigam CA, Deka R, Norgard MV. Identification of a core sequence for the binding of BosR to the rpoS promoter region in Borrelia burgdorferi. Microbiology (Reading, England). 160(Pt 5) : 851-62, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24608174
  • Ouyang Z, Zhou J, Norgard MV. CsrA (BB0184) is not involved in activation of the RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway in Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and immunity. 82(4) : 1511-22, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24452681
  • Brautigam CA, Ouyang Z, Deka RK, Norgard MV. Sequence, biophysical, and structural analyses of the PstS lipoprotein (BB0215) from Borrelia burgdorferi reveal a likely binding component of an ABC-type phosphate transporter. Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society. 23(2) : 200-12, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24318969
  • Brautigam CA, Deka RK, Ouyang Z, Machius M, Knutsen G, Tomchick DR, Norgard MV. Biophysical and bioinformatic analyses implicate the Treponema pallidum Tp34 lipoprotein (Tp0971) in transition metal homeostasis. Journal of bacteriology. 194(24) : 6771-81, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23042995
  • Ouyang Z, Narasimhan S, Neelakanta G, Kumar M, Pal U, Fikrig E, Norgard MV. Activation of the RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway during the enzootic life cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi. BMC microbiology. 12: 44, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22443136
  • He M, Ouyang Z, Troxell B, Xu H, Moh A, Piesman J, Norgard MV, Gomelsky M, Yang XF. Cyclic di-GMP is essential for the survival of the lyme disease spirochete in ticks. PLoS pathogens. 7(6) : e1002133, 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21738477
  • Ouyang Z, Deka RK, Norgard MV. BosR (BB0647) controls the RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway and virulence expression in Borrelia burgdorferi by a novel DNA-binding mechanism. PLoS pathogens. 7(2) : e1001272, 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21347346
  • Ouyang Z, Haq S, Norgard MV. Analysis of the dbpBA upstream regulatory region controlled by RpoS in Borrelia burgdorferi. Journal of bacteriology. 192(7) : 1965-74, 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20118265
  • Ouyang Z, Kumar M, Kariu T, Haq S, Goldberg M, Pal U, Norgard MV. BosR (BB0647) governs virulence expression in Borrelia burgdorferi. Molecular microbiology. 74(6) : 1331-43, 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19889086
  • Ouyang Z, He M, Oman T, Yang XF, Norgard MV. A manganese transporter, BB0219 (BmtA), is required for virulence by the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106(9) : 3449-54, 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19218460
  • Ouyang Z, Isaacson R. Identification of a Novel Regulator for the Escherichia coli fit Iron Transport System. The open microbiology journal. 2: 94-9, 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19088918
  • Ouyang Z, Blevins JS, Norgard MV. Transcriptional interplay among the regulators Rrp2, RpoN and RpoS in Borrelia burgdorferi. Microbiology (Reading, England). 154(Pt 9) : 2641-58, 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18757798
  • Boardman BK, He M, Ouyang Z, Xu H, Pang X, Yang XF. Essential role of the response regulator Rrp2 in the infectious cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi. Infection and immunity. 76(9) : 3844-53, 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18573895
  • Ouyang Z, Isaacson R. Identification and characterization of a novel ABC iron transport system, fit, in Escherichia coli. Infection and immunity. 74(12) : 6949-56, 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16982838

Positions Held

  • Assistant Professor (Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 2012 - 2017)
  • Instructor (Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 2009 - 2012)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 2007 - 2009)