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Richard Rest

Richard Rest, PhD


Department: Microbiology & Immunology


  • BS – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • PhD - University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Postdoctoral studies – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Dr. Rest is a professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. He also serves as director of professional development and postdoctoral studies, and interim director of the Division of Pre-medical and Pre-health Programs in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is course director of the Responsible Conduct of Research (Scientific Integrity) core course taken by postdocs and all graduate students in the Division of Biomedical Sciences.

In these roles, Dr. Rest orchestrates and directs activities that prepare graduate students and postdoctoral trainees to become ethical biomedical professionals who follow career paths defined by scientific integrity. The Graduate School's “Excel @ Drexel” trainings and activities help graduate students and postdocs discover, prepare for and pursue their chosen career paths, from bench scientists and teachers to corporate leaders.

Dr. Rest directs and participates in online and face-to-face graduate courses in bacterial pathogenesis, presents medical student microbiology lectures, and facilitates small group sessions in the medical school’s PIL and IFM programs. His experience in bacterial pathogenesis, innate immunity and phagocyte function spans 40 years of basic research investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms by which bacteria cause gonorrhea, meningitis and anthrax.

Research Interests

Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis and Bacillus anthracis


Selected Publications
(See all Richard Rest's publications in PubMed.)

"Control of pili and lipooligosaccharide sialyltransferase expression in Neisseria gonorrhoeae is mediated by the transcriptional regulator CrgA"
Matthias KA and Rest RF
Molec Micro. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12522. (Epub ahead of print), 2014.

"The σ54-dependent PilR homologue Rsp directly activates σ70-dependent pilin expression and antigenic variation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae"
Matthias KA, Veyrier JF, and Rest RF
PLoS Pathogens – in review, 2014

"N-Acetylcysteine inhibits Bacillus anthracis spore germination by altering specific germination-pathway components"
Bernui ME, Smith M, and RF Rest
Submitted, 2012.

"Anthrolysin O, the Bacillus anthracis cholesterol dependent cytolysin, modulates human neutrophil and macrophage function"
Mosser EM, Pandya Y, Bernui M, and RF Rest
Infect. Immun., In revision, 2012.

"Soluble and liposome-encapsulated N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Increase the ability of human macrophages to kill Bacillus anthracis"
Bernui ME, Stone W, Smith M, and RF Rest
Infect. Immun., In revision, 2012.

"NLRP3 inflammasome is a target for development of broad-spectrum anti-infective drugs"
Thacker JD, Balin BJ, Appelt DM, Sassi-Gaha S, Purohit M, Rest RF, and CM Artlett. 
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 56: 1921-30, 2012. 

"Solvothermal Synthesis of Photocatalytic TiO2 Nanoparticles Capable of Killing Escherichia coli"
BY Lee, M Kurtoglu Y, Gogotsi M, Wynosky-Dolfi and Rest RF
Biodefence, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology, Part 1, 3-10, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0217-2_1. 2011.

"Rapid sporulation of Bacillus anthracis in high iron, glucose-free medium"
Purohit M, Sassi-Gaha S and Rest RF
Journal of Microbiological Methods 82: 282-287. 2010.

"Cold Plasma Inactivation of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) Spores"
Dobrynin D, Fridman G, Mukhin Y, Wynosky-Dolfi M, Rieger J, Rest RF, Gutsol A and Fridman A
IEEE Transactions in Plasma Science. 38: 1878-1884. 2010.

"Array PZT/Glass Piezoelectric Microcantilevers for real-time detection of Bacillus anthracis with 10 spores/ml sensitivity and 1/1000 selectivity in bacterial mixtures"
McGovern JP, Shih WY, Mattiucci M, Rest RF, Purohit M, Pourrezaei K, Onaral B, and W-H Shih.
Review of Scientific Instruments. 80: 125104-1 – 125104-7, 2009. [also in December 15, 2009 issue of Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research].

"1-Peptidyl-2-arachidonoyl-3-stearoyl-sn-glyceride: an immunologically active lipopeptide from goat serum (Capra hircus) is an endogenous damage-associated molecular pattern"
Thacker JD, Brown MA, Rest RF, Purohit M, Sassi-Gaha S, and CM Artlett
J. Nat. Prod., 72:1993-99, 2009.

"Cellular functions and X-ray structure of Anthrolysin O, a cholesterol-dependent cytolysin secreted by Bacillus anthracis"
Bourdeau RW, Malito E, Chenal A, Bishop BL, Musch MW, Villereal ML, Chang EB, Mosser EM, Rest RF, and Tang WJ.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 284: 14645-14656, 2009.

"Passive administration of monoclonal antibodies to Anthrolysin O prolong survival in mice lethally infected with Bacillus anthracis"
Nakouzi A, Rivera J, Rest RF, and Casadevall A.
BMC Microbiology 8: 159, 2008.

"The Bacillus anthracis cholesterol-dependent cytolysin, Anthrolysin O, kills human neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages"
Mosser EM and Rest RF.
BMC Microbiology, 6: 56, 2006.

"Differential expression and transcriptional analysis of the α-2,3-sialyltransferase gene (lst) in pathogenic neisseria"
Packiam M, Shell D, Liu SV, Liu YB, McGee DJ, Srivastava R, Seal S, and Rest RF.
Infection and Immunity, 74: 2637-2650, 2006.

"Anthrolysin O and other gram-positive cytolysins are toll-like receptor 4 agonists"
Park J.M, Ng VH, Maeda S, Rest RF, and  Kari M.
Journal of Experimental Medicine, 200: 1647-1655, 2004.

Contact Information

Academic Office

Division of Pre-medical and Pre-health Programs, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
245 N. 15th Street
4104 New College Building, MS 344
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.8247
Fax: 215.762.8249