* Author is a student, research assistant, postdoctoral researcher, or maternal-fetal medicine fellow in my laboratory
Author is a student whose dissertation committee I served on

bioRχiv Preprints

Garcia-Flores V, Romero R, Xu Y, Theis KR, Arenas-Hernandez M, Miller D, Peyvandipour A, Galaz J, Levenson D, Bhatti G, Gershater M, Pusod E, Kracht D*, Florova V*, Leng Y, Tao L, Faucett M, Para R, Hsu C-D, Zhang G, Tarca A, Pique-Regi R, Gomez-Lopez N. Maternal-fetal immune responses in pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2. doi: 10.21203/

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Accepted, not yet in print

Jung E, Romero R, Yoon BH, Theis KR, Gudicha DW, Tarca AL, Diaz-Primera R, Winters AD*, Gomez-Lopez N, Yeo L, Hsu C-D. Bacteria in the amniotic fluid without inflammation: early colonization vs. contamination. Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Accepted for publication on 5/19/21.

Breen P†, Winters AD*, Theis KR, Withey JH. The Vibrio cholerae T6SS is dispensable for colonization but affects pathogenesis and the structure of zebrafish intestinal microbiome. Infection & Immunity. Accepted for publication on 5/14/21.

Breen P†, Winters AD*, Theis KR, Withey JH. Vibrio cholerae infection induces strain specific modulation of the zebrafish intestinal microbiome. Infection & Immunity. Accepted for publication on 5/14/21.


Angoa-Perez M, Zagorac B, Francescutti DM, JH, Theis KR, Kuhn DM. Effects of gut microbiota remodeling on the dysbiosis induced by high fat diet in a mouse model of Gulf War illness. Life Sciences. 2021; 279:119675. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119675.

Theis KR (co-first author), Florova V* (co-first author), Romero R, Borisov AB, Winters AD*, Galaz J, Gomez-Lopez. Sneathia: an emerging pathogen in female reproductive disease and adverse perinatal outcomes. Critical Reviews in Microbiology. 2021; Online ahead of print. doi: 10.1080/1040841X.2021.1905606.

Motomura K, Romero R, Galaz J, Tarca AL, Done B, Xu Y, Leng Y, Garcia-Flores V, Arenas-Hernandez M, Theis KR, Gershater M, Jung E, Hsu C-D, Gomez-Lopez N. RNA sequencing reveals distinct immune responses in the chorioamniotic membranes of women with preterm labor and microbial or sterile intra-amniotic inflammation. Infection and Immunity. 2021; 89(5):e00819-20. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00819-20.

Rojas CA†, Ramirez-Barahona S, Holekamp KE, Theis KR. Host phylogeny and host ecology structure the mammalian gut microbiota at different taxonomic scales. Animal Microbiome. 2021; 3:33. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2020.155316. doi: 10.1186/s42523-021-00094-4.

Romero R, Pacora P, Kusanovic JP, Jung E, Panaitescu B, Maymon E, Erez O, Berman S, Bryant D, Gomez-Lopez N, Theis KR, Bhatti G, Kim CJ, Yoon BH, Hassan SS, Hsu C-D, Yeo L, Diaz-Primera R, Concha JM, Lannaman K, Alhousseini A*, Gomez-Roberts H, Varrey A, Garcia-Sanchez A, Gervasi M-T. Clinical chorioamnionitis at term X: microbiology, clinical signs, placental pathology, neonatal bacteremia and implications for clinical care. Journal of Perinatal Medicine. 2021; 49(3):275-298. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2020-0297.

Angoa-Perez M, Zagorac B, Francescutti DM, Theis KR, Kuhn DM. Responses to chronic corticosterone on brain glucocorticoid receptors, adrenal gland, and gut microbiota in mice lacking neuronal serotonin. Brain Research. 2021; 1751:147190. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2020.147190.

Kopper JJ, Theis KR, Barbu NI, Patterson JS, Bell JA, Gettings JR, Mansfield LS. Effect of Trichuris muris Compared with Spontaneous Colitis on the Structure of the Proximal Colon Microbiota in C3H/HeJ and C3Bir IL10–/– Mice. Comparative Medicine. 2021; 71(1):46-65. doi: 10.30802/AALAS-CM-20-000021.


Florova V*, Romero R, Tarca AL, Galaz J, Motomura K, Ahmad MM*, Hsu C-D, Hsu R, Tong A, Ravel J, Theis KR, Gomez-Lopez N. Vaginal host immune-microbiome interactions in a cohort of primarily African-American women who ultimately underwent spontaneous preterm birth or delivered at term. Cytokine. 2020; 137(2021):155316. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2020.155316.

Motomura K, Romero R, Xu Y, Theis KR, Galaz J, Winters AD*, Slutsky R, Garcia-Flores V, Zou C, Levenson D, Para R, Ahmad MM*, Miller D, Hsu C-D, Gomez-Lopez N. Intra-amniotic infection with Ureaplasma parvum causes preterm birth and neonatal mortality that are prevented by treatment with clarithromycin. mBio. 2020; 11(3):e00797-20. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00797-20.

Angoa-Perez M, Zagorac B, Francescutti DM, Winters AD*, Greenberg JM*, Ahmad MM*, Manning SD, Gulbransen BD, Theis KR, Kuhn DM. Effects of a high fat diet on gut microbiome dysbiosis in a mouse model of Gulf War Illness. Scientific Reports. 2020; 10:9529. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-66833-w.

Angoa-Perez M, Briggs DI, Anneken JH, Zagorac B, Winters AD*, Greenberg JM*, Ahmad MM*, Theis KR, Kuhn DM. Repetitive, mild traumatic brain injury results in the progression of chronic traumatic encephalopathy-like neuropathology and a transient dysbiosis in the gut microbiota. Scientific Reports. 2020; 10(1):8949. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65972-4.

Theis KR, Romero R, Winters AD*, Jobe AH, Gomez-Lopez N. Lack of evidence for microbiota in the placental and fetal tissues of rhesus macaques. mSphere. 2020; 5(3):e00210-20. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00210-20.

Alhousseini A*, Vadillo-Ortega F, Palacios-Gonzalez B, Theis KR, Winters AD*, Hassan SS, Meraz-Cruz N. Differential secretion of inflammatory cytokines by human trophoblasts in the presence of Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus crispatus, and Lactobacillus jensenii. Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. 2020; Apr 22:1-7. doi: 10.1159/000507440.

Vaelli PM†, Theis KR, Williams JE, O’Connell L, Foster JA, Eisthen HL. The skin microbiome facilitates adaptive tetrodotoxin production in poisonous newts. eLife. 2020; 9:e53898. doi: 10.7554/eLife.53898.

Theis KR, Romero R, Greenberg JM*, Winters AD*, Garcia-Flores V, Motomura K, Ahmad MA*, Galaz J, Arenas-Hernandez M, Gomez-Lopez N. No consistent evidence for microbiota in murine placental and fetal tissues. mSphere. 2020; 5(1):e00933-19. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00933-19.

Angoa-Perez M, Zagorac B, Winters AD*, Greenberg JM*, Ahmad MM*, Theis KR, Kuhn DM. Differential effects of synthetic psychoactive cathinones and amphetamine stimulants on the gut microbiome in mice. PLoS One. 2020; 15(1):e0227774. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227774.

Theis KR, Romero R, Motomura K, Galaz J, Winters AD*, Pacora P, Miller D, Slutsky R, Florova V*, Levenson D, Para R, Varrey A, Kacerovsky M, Hsu C-D, Gomez-Lopez N. Microbial burden in inflammasome activation in amniotic fluid of patients with preterm prelabor rupture of membranes. Journal of Perinatal Medicine. 2020; 48(2):115-131. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2019-0398.

Rojas CA†, Holekamp KE, Winters AD*, Theis KR. Body-site specific microbiota reflect sex and age class among wild spotted hyenas. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 2020; 96(2):fiaa007. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiaa007.

Theis KR, Whittaker DJ, Rojas CA. A hologenomic approach to animal behavior. In: Evolution in Action: Past, Present and Future. Banzhaf W, Chen B, Deb K, Holekamp K, Lenski R, Ofria C, Pennock R, Punch B, Whittaker D (Editors), Springer, pp. 247 – 263, 2020. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-39831-6_18. [External peer-review]


Romero R, Gomez-Lopez N, Winters AD*, Jung E, Shaman M*, Bieda J, Panaitescu B, Pacora P, Erez O, Greenberg JM*, Ahmad MM*, Hsu C-D, Theis KR. Evidence that intra-amniotic infections are often the result of an ascending invasion – a molecular microbiological study. Journal of Perinatal Medicine. 2019; 47(9):915-931. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2019-0297.

Whittaker DJ, Slowinski SP, Greenberg JM*, Alian O*, Winters AD*, Ahmad MM*, Burrell MJE, Soini HA, Novotny MV, Ketterson ED, Theis KR. Experimental evidence that symbiotic bacteria produce chemical cues in a songbird. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2019; 222:jeb202978. doi: 10.1242/jeb.202978.

Neff AS, Theis KR, Burghardt PR. Development and preliminary validation of a feasible procedure for isolating RNA from fiber-adherent bacteria in human stool. Medical Science Monitor Basic Research. 2019; 25:238-244. doi: 10.12659/MSMBR.918316.

Winters AD*, Romero R, Gervasi MT, Gomez-Lopez N, Tran MR, Garcia-Flores V, Pacora P, Jung E, Hassan SS, Hsu C-D, Theis KR. Does the endometrial cavity have a molecular microbial signature? Scientific Reports. 2019; 9:9905. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46173-0.

Breen P†, Winters AD*, Nag D, Ahmad MM*, Theis KR, Withey JH. Internal vs. external pressures: effect of housing systems on the zebrafish microbiome. Zebrafish. 2019; Epub ahead of print.

Horton D, Theis KR, Uzarki D, Learman D. Microbial community structure and microbial networks correspond to nutrient gradients within coastal wetlands of the Laurentian Great Lakes. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 2019; 95(4):fiz033. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiz033.

Vannier N, Mony C, Bittebiere AK, Theis KR, Rosenberg E, Vandenkoornhuyse P. Clonal plants as meta-holobionts. mSystems. 2019; 4(2):e00213-18.

Theis KR, Romero R, Winters AD*, Greenberg JM*, Gomez-Lopez N, Alhousseini A*, Bieda J, Maymon E, Pacora P, Fettweis JM, Buck GA, Jefferson KK, Strauss III JF, Erez O, Hassan SS. Does the human placenta delivered at term have a microbiota? Results of cultivation, quantitative real-time PCR, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and metagenomics. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2019; 220:267.e1-39. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.10.018. Editors’ Choice. See Commentary: De-Discovery of the Placenta Microbiome. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.11.1093. [Web of Science Highly Cited paper (Top 1% in Medicine)]


Theis KR. Hologenomics: systems-level host biology. mSystems. 2018; 3(2):e00164-17. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00164-17.

Xu Y, Romero R, Miller D, Silva P, Panaitescu B, Theis KR, Arif A, Hassan SS, Gomez-Lopez N. Innate lymphoid cells at the human maternal-fetal interface in spontaneous preterm labor. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 2018; 79(6):e12820. doi: 10.1111/aji.12820.


Theis KR, Dheilly NM, Klassen JL, Brucker RM, Baines JF, Bosch, TCG, Cryan JF, Gilbert SF, Goodnight CJ, Lloyd EA, Sapp J, Vandenkoornhuyse P, Zilber-Rosenberg I, Rosenberg E, Bordenstein SR. Getting the hologenome concept right: an eco-evolutionary framework for hosts and their microbiomes. mSystems. 2016; 1(2):e00028-16. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00028-16 [Faculty 1000; Web of Science Highly Cited paper (Top 1% in Microbiology)]

Whittaker DJ, Gerlach NM, Slowinski SP, Corcoran KP, Winters AD*, Soini HA, Novotny MV, Ketterson ED, Theis KR. Social environment has a primary influence on the microbial and odor profiles of a chemically signaling songbird. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2016; 4:90. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2016.0090

Whittaker DJ, Theis KR. Bacterial communities associated with junco preen glands: preliminary ramifications for chemical signaling. In Chemical Signals in Vertebrates XIII, Shulte B, Goodwin TE, and Ferkin MH (Editors), Springer, Chapter 8, pp. 105 – 117, 2016. [External peer review]

Venkataraman A, Sieber JR, Schmidt AW, Waldron C, Theis KR, Schmidt TM. Variable responses of human microbiomes to dietary supplementation with resistant starch. Microbiome. 2016; 4:33. PMID: 27357127

Theis KR, Venkataraman A, Wagner AP, Holekamp KE, Schmidt TM. Age-related variation in the scent pouch bacterial communities of striped hyenas. In Chemical Signals in Vertebrates XIII, Shulte B, Goodwin TE, and Ferkin MH (Editors), Springer, Chapter 7, pp. 87 – 103, 2016. [External peer review]

Prior to 2016 (Michigan State University and the University of Michigan)

Bordenstein SR, Theis KR. Host biology in light of the microbiome: ten principles of holobionts and hologenomes. PLoS Biology. 2015; 13(8):e1002226. PMID: 26284777 [Faculty 1000; Web of Science Highly Cited paper (Top 1% in Biology)]

Eisthen H, Theis KR. Animal-microbe interactions and the evolution of nervous systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 2015; 371:e1002226. PMID: 26598731

Theis KR, Venkataraman A, Dycus JA*, Koonter KD*, Schmitt-Matzen EN*, Wagner AP, Holekamp KE, Schmidt TM. Symbiotic bacteria appear to mediate hyena social odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013; 110(49):19832-7. PMID: 3856825. See Commentary: Microbes and animal olfactory communication: where do we go from here? doi: 10.1002/bies.201400016.

Theis KR, Schmidt TM, Holekamp KE. Evidence for a bacterial mechanism for group-specific social odors among hyenas. Scientific Reports. 2012; 2:615. PMID: 3431069

Archie EA, Theis KR. Animal behavior meets microbial ecology. Animal Behaviour. 2011; 82:425-436. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.05.029

Theis KR, Heckla AL*, Verge JR*, and Holekamp KE. The ontogeny of pasting behavior in free-living spotted hyenas. In Chemical Signals in Vertebrates XI, Hurst JL, Beynon RJ, Roberts SC, Wyatt TD (Editors), Springer, Chapter 17, pp. 179 – 187, 2008. [External peer review]

Theis KR, Greene KM, Benson-Amram SR, Holekamp KE. Sources of variation in the long-distance vocalizations of spotted hyenas. Behaviour. 2007; 144(5):557-84. doi: 10.1163/156853907780713046

Kolowski JM, Katan D, Theis KR, Holekamp KE. Daily patterns of activity in the spotted hyena. Journal of Mammalogy. 2007; 88(4):1017-28. doi: 10.1644/06-MAMM-A-143R.1

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