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Laurence Rahme, Ph.D.

Laurence Rahme, Ph.D.

Laurence Rahme, MS, Ph.D., is on the senior scientific staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston. She is also an associate professor in the department of surgery and an associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rahme is also the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Molecular Surgical Laboratory in the department of surgery of the Center for Surgery, Innovation and Bioengineering at MGH. Additionally, Dr. Rahme is a microbiologist in both the department of surgery and the department of molecular biology at MGH. Her innovative work on the use of novel anti-infective therapies led to the formation of a company called Spero Therapeutics.

Dr. Rahme’s research is focused on understanding pathogen and host mechanisms in burn injury and wound healing that mediate or restrict bacterial pathogenesis in order to obtain knowledge that can be applied to the development of host-protective interventions. Her laboratory developed novel strategies to combat bacterial virulence in stubborn microbes that very frequently infect burn patients. Her group has developed a new type of anti-infective drugs that specifically disarm the pathogens from their ability to cause infection and host biomarkers that predict which patient could be at a high risk for multiple infections. These new approaches will greatly improve the outcome of patients with burns.

Dr. Rahme has an international reputation for her pioneering work and has published over 100 journal articles published in top tier journals, including Science, Cell, PNAS, Nature, EMBO, Current Biology, Annals of Surgery, and Burns among others. She has served on NIH, NSF and on several national and international foundation review panels and has been invited as a speaker and keynote speaker. Her research is funded by Shriners Hospitals for Children, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD) and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), among others. She served as mentor to more than 50 research fellows (Ph.D. and M.D.), is the leading inventor of more than 10 patents, and is the scientific founder of Spero Therapeutics.

Dr. Rahme has received several national and international honors, awards and distinguished scholarships, including election to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. She is on the editorial board of several top tier journals and served on advisory and editorial boards and is a special research topic editor for several journals.

Current positions:

  • Senior Scientific Staff, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston
  • Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
  • Director of the MGH Molecular Surgical Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Center for Surgery, Innovation and Bioengineering, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, Mass.
  • Microbiologist, Department of Surgery, MGH, Boston, Mass.
  • Microbiologist, Department of Molecular Biology, MGH, Boston, Mass.

Education/training:

  • BS, Biological Sciences, University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  • MS, Honors, Molecular Genetics, University of Naples and Institute of Genetics and Biophysics C.N.R, Naples, Italy
  • Ph.D., Microbial Pathogenesis, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.

Scholarly activities: