Mary O'Riordan

Mary O'Riordan, Ph.D.

Frederick C. Neidhardt Collegiate Professor
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Associate Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies


Mary O’Riordan, Ph.D. is the Frederick C. Neidhardt Collegiate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. She was also appointed Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in June 2015.

She received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Washington, Seattle, M.A. in molecular biology from Princeton University and her doctorate in immunology from the University of California, San Francisco. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology in 2003 and was promoted to associate professor in 2010, and full professor in 2017.

Throughout her years on the faculty, Dr. O’Riordan has been active in the educational and research missions of the Medical School. In addition to teaching and mentoring, she has been a director for a number of graduate-level courses. She has been the thesis advisor for five graduate students and served on many dissertation committees. In 2013, she was inducted into the Medical School’s League of Educational Excellence and she also received the Endowment for Biological Sciences Teaching Award. Dr. O'Riordan was a founding member of the M-Cubed Executive Committee and serves in the University of Michigan Medical School Research Cabinet.

Research Interests

Our laboratory explores the interaction of intracellular bacterial pathogens with their host cells. We study the Gram-positive bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other bacterial pathogens as tools with which to explore host mechanisms that regulate infection and innate immune signaling. More recently, our research has focused on how host cell stress responses amplify innate immune signaling to enhance immunity to bacterial infection.


Charbonneau ME, Passalacqua KD, Hagen SE, Showalter HD, Wobus CE, O'Riordan MXD. Perturbation of ubiquitin homeostasis promotes macrophage oxidative defenses. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 15;9(1):10245. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46526-9. PubMed PMID: 31308397.

Omary MB, Shah YM, Schnell S, Subramanian S, Swanson MS, O'Riordan MX. Enhancing career development of postdoctoral trainees: act locally and beyond. J Physiol. 2019 May;597(9):2317-2322. doi: 10.1113/JP277684. Epub 2019 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 30929265; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6487921.

Passalacqua KD, Lu J, Goodfellow I, Kolawole AO, Arche JR, Maddox RJ, Carnahan KE, O'Riordan MXD, Wobus CE. Glycolysis Is an Intrinsic Factor for Optimal Replication of a Norovirus. MBio. 2019 Mar 12;10(2). pii: e02175-18. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02175-18. PubMed PMID: 30862747; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6414699.

Passalacqua KD, O'Riordan MX. MRSA in Stealth Mode Evades Antibody Recognition. Trends Immunol. 2019 Feb;40(2):85-87. doi:10.1016/ Epub 2019 Jan 1. PubMed PMID: 30609966.

Abuaita BH, Schultz TL, O'Riordan MX. Mitochondria-Derived Vesicles Deliver Antimicrobial Reactive Oxygen Species to Control Phagosome-Localized Staphylococcus aureus. Cell Host Microbe. 2018 Nov 14;24(5):625-636.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.10.005. Epub 2018 Oct 25. PubMed PMID: 30449314.

Ghosh P, Halvorsen EM, Ammendolia DA, Mor-Vaknin N, O'Riordan MXD, Brumell JH, Markovitz DM, Higgins DE. Invasion of the Brain by Listeria monocytogenes Is Mediated by InlF and Host Cell Vimentin. MBio. 2018 Feb 27;9(1). pii: e00160-18. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00160-18. PubMed PMID: 29487235; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5829824.

Hitchcock P, Mathur A, Bennett J, Cameron P, Chow C, Clifford P, Duvoisin R, Feig A, Finneran K, Klotz DM, McGee R, O'Riordan M, Pfund C, Pickett C, Schwartz N, Street NE, Watkins E, Wiest J, Engelke D. The future of graduate and postdoctoral training in the biosciences. Elife. 2017 Oct 19;6. pii: e32715. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32715. PubMed PMID: 29049023; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5648525.

Passalacqua KD, Charbonneau ME, O'Riordan MX. Bacterial Metabolism Shapes the Host-Pathogen Interface. Microbiol Spectr. 2016 Jun;4(3). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.VMBF-0027-2015. Review. PubMed PMID: 27337445; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4922512.

Bronner DN, O'Riordan MX. Measurement of Mitochondrial DNA Release in Response to ER Stress. Bio Protoc. 2016 Jun 20;6(12). pii: e1839. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.1839. PubMed PMID: 31106234; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6519464.

Passalacqua KD, Charbonneau ME, Donato NJ, Showalter HD, Sun D, Wen B, He M, Sun H, O'Riordan MX, Wobus CE. Anti-infective Activity of 2-Cyano-3-Acrylamide Inhibitors with Improved Drug-Like Properties against Two Intracellular Pathogens. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Jun 20;60(7):4183-96. doi:10.1128/AAC.03021-15. Print 2016 Jul. PubMed PMID: 27139470; PubMed CentralPMCID: PMC4914689.

Bronner DN, Abuaita BH, Chen X, Fitzgerald KA, Nuñez G, He Y, Yin XM, O'Riordan MX. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Activates the Inflammasome via NLRP3- and Caspase-2-Driven Mitochondrial Damage. Immunity. 2015 Sep 15;43(3):451-62.doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.08.008. Epub 2015 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 26341399; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4582788.

Abuaita BH, Burkholder KM, Boles BR, O'Riordan MX. The Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Sensor Inositol-Requiring Enzyme 1α Augments Bacterial Killing through Sustained Oxidant Production. MBio. 2015 Jul 14;6(4):e00705. doi:10.1128/mBio.00705-15. PubMed PMID: 26173697; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4502229.

Bronner DN, O'Riordan MX. A near death experience: Shigella manipulates host death machinery to silence innate immunity. EMBO J. 2014 Oct 1;33(19):2137-9. doi: 10.15252/embj.201489680. Epub 2014 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 25180233; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4282501.