Skip to Content

Post-doctoral Fellowship Position, S. aureus Pathogenesis in Skin

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, Baltimore, Maryland

Position Description:
 Full-time position for a Ph.D. or Ph.D. candidate is available for immunology research in the Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology to investigate mechanisms of protective innate and adaptive immune responses to skin pathogens and the role of aberrant immune responses and the skin microbiome in the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin diseases (such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis). We have made seminal discoveries involving Toll-like receptors (TLRs), IL-1β/inflammasome responses and the role of different T cell subsets (especially IL-17-producing T cells). In particular, we are currently investigating protective immunity to Staphylococcus aureus, which is the most common human bacterial skin pathogen. This area of research is highly significant, since S. aureus infections represent a major public health threat due to the widespread emergence of virulent community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains. Our long-term goal is to discover mechanisms that can serve as targets for future immune-based therapies and vaccination strategies. In our work involving pathogenic immune mechanisms and dysbiosis of the skin microbiome in contributing to skin inflammation, we have made key discoveries involving the role of IL-36, MyD88-signaling and STAT3-signaling.

Our research has used innovative in vivo preclinical models, including pioneering advanced techniques of in vivo whole animal optical (bioluminescence and fluorescence) imaging to track bacterial clearance and host immune responses noninvasively and longitudinally over time, human skin organotypic culture models and novel humanized mouse models possessing both human skin and immune cells. Our laboratory has been funded with NIH grant support continuously for more than 15 years (R01's, R56's, R21, R03 and K08 grants). In addition, we have extensive industry and foundation support with 7 foundation grants and 16 investigator-initiated and sponsored research grants from industry in the past 5 years alone.

Previous research experience with first-author peer-reviewed manuscripts in immunology research is required. This is a unique opportunity for highly qualified and extremely motivated applicants to start their post-doctoral training in a newly renovated state-of-the-art research laboratory. The start date is flexible but we would prefer a start date prior to July 2018.

To Apply:
Please Contact Dr. Lloyd Miller at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology.

For selected publications from the Miller Laboratory, please see:

1. Dillen, CA, Pinsker, BL, Marusina, AI, Merleev, AA, Farber, ON, Liu, H, Archer, NK, Lee, DB, Wang, Y, Ortines, RV, Lee, SK, Marchitto, MC, Cai, SS, Ashbaugh, AG, May, LS, Holland, SK, Freeman, AF, Miller, LG, Yeaman, MR, Simon, SI, Milner, JD, Maverakis, E, Miller, LS. 2018. Clonally expanded γδ T cells protect against Staphylococcus aureus skin reinfection. Journal of Clinical Investigation. epub ahead of print:

2. Liu, H, Archer, NK, Dillen, CA, Wang, Y, Ashbaugh, AG, Ortines, RV, Kao, T, Lee, SK, Cai, SS, Miller, RJ, Marchitto, MC, Zhang, E, Riggins, DP, Plaut, RD, Stibitz, S, Geha, RS, Miller, LS. 2017. Staphylococcus aureus epicutaneous exposure drives skin inflammation via IL-36-mediated T cell responses. Cell Host & Microbe 22: 653-666.

3. Wang, Y, Cheng, LL, Helfer, DR, Ashbaugh, AG, Miller, RJ, Tzomides, AJ, Thompson, JM, Ortines, RV, Tsai, AS, Liu, H, Dillen, CA, Archer, NK, Cohen, TS, Tkaczyk, C, Stover, CK, Sellman, BR, Miller, LS. 2017. Hematogenous implant-related biofilm infection mouse model reveals therapeutic targets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114(26):E5094-E5102.

4. Ashbaugh, AG, Jiang, X, Zheng, J, Tsai, AS, Kim, W-S, Thompson, JM, Miller, RJ, Shahbazian, JH, Wang, Y, Dillen, CA, Ordonez, AA, Chang, YS, Jain, SK, Jones, JC, Sterling, RS, Mao, H-Q, Miller, LS. 2016. Polymeric nanofiber coating with tunable combinatorial antibiotic delivery prevents biofilm-associated infection in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 113 (45): E6919-E6928.

5. Cho, JS, Guo, Y, Ramos, RI, Hebroni, F, Plaisier, SB, Xuan, C, Granick, JL, Matsushima, H, Takashima, A, Iwakura, Y, Cheung, AL, Cheng, G, Lee, DJ, Simon, SI, Miller, LS. 2012. Neutrophil-derived IL-1β is sufficient for abscess formation in immunity against Staphylococcus aureus in mice. PLOS Pathogens. 8(11): e1003047.

6. Cho, JS, Pietras, EM, Garcia, NC, Ramos, RI, Farzam, DM, Monroe, HR, Magorien, JE, Blauvelt, A, Kolls, JK, Cheung, AL, Cheng, G, Modlin, RL, Miller, LS. 2010. IL-17 is essential for host defense against cutaneous Staphylococcus aureus infection in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation 120(5): 1762-1773. PMCID: PMC2860944.


1. Miller, LS, Cho, JS. 2011. Immunity against Staphylococcus aureus cutaneous infections (review article). Nature Reviews Immunology 11: 505-518.