Robert Faris

Associate Research Scientist and Course Lecturer, Weber LaboratoryRobert Faris
Address: 3-350 BSB
Phone: (319) 335-7810


Undergraduate Institution: Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas   - B.S. Criminal Justice
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas - B.S. Biology

MS Institution: Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas - Biology

PhD Institution: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas - Cellular and Molecular Biology      

Postdoctoral Positions: National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)
Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases
Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana  Postdoctoral Fellow in laboratory of Dr Suzette Priola                                                                                       

Research Description

I am interested in dissecting out the molecular mechanisms by which intracellular pathogens, such as C. trachomatis and C. burnetii subvert the host immune response and establish their unique replicative niche within the host cell. Additionally, I am working towards understanding how these important human pathogens hijack host bioenergetic pathways to subvert host cell death and divert biochemical energy to the growing vacuole.


  1. Faris R., Merling M., Andersen SE, Dooley C, Hackstadt T, Weber MM. The Chlamydia trachomatis inclusion membrane protein CT229 subverts multiple Rab GTPase dependent Clathrin coated vesicle trafficking pathways to promote chlamydial infection. Cell Rep. In press 2019.
  2. Weber MM and Faris R. Subversion of the endocytic and secretory pathways by bacterial effector proteins. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2018 Jan 24;6:1.
  3. Weber MM, Faris R., van Schaik EJ, Samuel J. Identification and characterization of arginine finger-like motifs, and endosome-lysosome-basolateral sorting signals within ectopically expressed CirA, a Coxiella burnetii type IV secreted effector protein. Microbes Infect. 2018 Jan 10. pii: S1286-4579(18)30002-9.
  4. Faris, R., Moore, R.A., Ward, A., and Priola, S. A. (2017) Mitochondrial respiration is impaired during late stage hamster prion infection. J Virol. 2017 Jun 28. pii: JVI.00524-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00524-17
  5. Faris, R., Moore, R.A., Ward, A., Race, B., Dorward, D., Hollister, J.R., and Priola, S. A. (2017) Cellular prion protein is present in mitochondria of healthy mice. Scientific Reports. 2017 Feb 2;7:41556.
  6. Moore, R.A., Choi, Y.P., Head, M.W., Ironside, J.W. , Faris, R.,  Ritchie, D.L., and Priola, S.A. (2016) The relative abundance of ApoE and Aβ1-42 associated with abnormal prion protein differs between Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease subtypes. J Proteome Res. 2016 Dec 2;15(12):4518-4531.
  7. Weber, M.M., Faris, R., van Schaik, E.J., McLachlan, J.T., Wright, W.U., Tellez, A., Roman, V.A., Rowin, K., Case, E.D., Luo, Z.Q., Samuel, J.E. (2016). The type IV secreted effector protein CirA stimulates the GTPase activity of RhoA and is required for virulence in a mouse model of Coxiella burnetii infection. Infection and Immunity. 2016 Aug 19;84(9):2524-33.
  8. Weber, M.M., Faris, R., McLachlan, J., Wright, W.U., Tellez, A., Galvan, G., Luo ZQ, Samuel, J.E. (2016). Modulation of the host transcriptome by Coxiella burnetii nuclear effector Cbu1314. Microbes and Infection. 2016 May;18(5):336-45.
  9. Faris, R., Weber M.M., Seeger, D., Cavazos, D., deGraffenried, L. Murphy, EJ, Jolly, CA. (2016). Mitochondrial Glycerol-3-phosphate Acyltransferase Dependent Phospholipid Synthesis Modulates Phospholipid Mass and IL-2 Production in Jurkat T cells. Lipids. 2016 Mar;51(3):291-301.
  10. Moore, RA., Faris, R., Priola, S.A. (2015) Proteomics applications in prion biology and structure. Expert Rev Proteomics. 2015 Apr;12(2):171-84.
  11. De Angulo, A., Faris, R., Daniel, B., Jolly, C., deGraffenried, L. (2015). Age-related increase in IL-17 activates pro-inflammatory signaling in prostate cells. Prostate. 2015 Apr 1;75(5):449-62.
  12. Faris, R., Fan, Y., deAngulo, A., Chapkin, R., deGraffenried, L., and Jolly, C. (2014). Mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase-1 is essential for murine CD4+ T cell metabolic activation. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Oct;1842(10):1475-82.
  13. De Angulo, A., Faris, R., Cavazos, D., Jolly, C., Daniel, B., & Degraffenried, L. (2013). Age-related alterations in T-lymphocytes modulate key pathways in prostate tumorigenesis. The Prostate, 73(8), 855–64.doi:10.1002/pros.22631


2014-2017      Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award -  NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories                                                                                                                                          

2007                 Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology Student Fellowship -  University of Texas at Austin     


  • Laboratory Instructor of the Year, The University of Texas at Austin (2012)
  • Monetary Recruitment Incentive for Outstanding Incoming Doctoral Students, The University of Texas at Texas (2007)
  • Special Graduate Student Scholarship, Sam Houston State University (2006)
  • Student Research Grant for the study of activation in spore forming Bacillus stearothermophilus NGB 101, Sam Houston State University (2006)
  • Superior Presentation in Molecular and Cell Biology: A Novel Quantitative Assay for the Detection of West Nile Virus Antigen and RT-PCR Amplicon Using Electrochemical Detection, Sigma Xi (2006)
  • Best Poster: Endospore Activation may be Directly Related to a Change in Spore Coat Permeability Ultimately Leading to the Initiation of Metabolism in Bacillus stearothermophilus NGB 101, ASM Texas Branch Meeting (2007)