Harris Mavromatis

PhD Students

Research Associate

Saudi Human Genome Program

King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology

Research Interests

Macrophages play a central role in the mechanisms of this diseases and a better understanding of the transcription regulation underline macrophages activation during pathogens infection will help to design new therapeutic strategies. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are among the most common infectious diseases of humans and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), the primary cause of UTI, are classically regarded as extracellular pathogens. However, recent evidence indicates that they can infect and replicate within epithelial cells, and we have now made the surprising observation that UPEC can also infect and persist within macrophages. Intramacrophage survival may contribute to chronic UPEC infections, as well as dissemination to distal sites such as the kidney. This project will focus on the mechanisms of host subversion that enable UPEC to survive within macrophages, and the contribution of macrophages to UPEC-mediated pathology.
Well-characterized candidate Uropathogenic E. coli genes are likely to contribute to subversion of macrophage anti-microbial responses. However, there are likely to be novel pathways, which cannot be predicted from existing knowledge of UPEC genetics, also contributing to intramacrophage survival and host subversion.  Using Ultra-high throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) we simultaneously elucidate the gene expression and transcript diversity including non-coding regulatory RNA (e.g. microRNAs) of macrophages and their invading pathogen. These sequencing data are then integrated with other genome-wide datasets such as protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions to elucidate the regulatory networks underline the host/pathogen relationship. Like in our previous works, we are particular interested in the dynamic properties of these networks over time. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Sweet at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Selected Publications

  • Ryu T., Mavromatis C., Bayer T., Voolstra C., Ravasi T. Unexpected complexity of the reef-building coral Acropora millepora transcriptional network. Genome Biology, 2011, in press.
  • Binning S.A., Mavromatis C. and Guichard F. Density-dependent succession in Caribbean seagrass communities. MSURJ 2(1): 28-31.9.


  • 2009–present     Ph.D. Candidate in Biosciences, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • 2005–2008        M.Sc. in Biology, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2001–2005        B.Sc. in Biology, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada