Skip to main content

Nicole E. Putnam, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Medical and Research Technology

Additional Title:

Assistant Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, UMMC Laboratories of Pathology


22 S Greene Street

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-5705

Education and Training

B.S. Biochemistry and Psychology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI (2006-2010)

Sc.M. Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD (2012-2014)

Certificate in Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD (2014)

Ph.D. Microbe-Host Interactions, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN (2014-2019)

Fellowship: Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD (2019-2021)


In 2021, Dr. Putnam joined the University of Maryland School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and the University of Maryland Medical Center as an Assistant Director to the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology, with expertise in the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

In transitioning into Medical and Public Health Microbiology, Dr. Putnam obtained clinical training at the National Institutes of Health within the Department of Laboratory Medicine. Prior to this, her research focused on in vivo model systems of pathogenesis and immunity – studying measles virus infection in non-human primates while training at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a post-traumatic murine model of Staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

As junior faculty as University of Maryland, Dr. Putnam is interested in collaborating towards a common goal to pursue basic and clinical research surrounding significant findings in clinical microbiology. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

microbiology, immunology, infectious disease, host-pathogen interactions, public health, clinical microbiology, clinical diagnostics, emerging infectious diseases

Highlighted Publications

Putnam NE and Lau AF. Comprehensive study identifies a sensitive, low-risk, closed-system model for detection of fungal contaminants in cell and gene therapy products. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2021. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34406794. 

Kline A*, Putnam NE*, Youn JH, East A, Das S, Frank KM, and AM Zelazny. Dacron swab and PBS are acceptable alternatives to flocked swab and viral transport media for SARS-CoV-2. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease. 2020. PMID: 33080426. * These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

Putnam NE, Fulbright LE, Curry JM, Ford CA, Petronglo JR, Hendrix AS, and JE Cassat. MyD88 and IL-1R signaling drive antibacterial immunity and osteoclast-driven bone loss during Staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis. PLoS Pathogens. 2019. PMID: 30978245.

Brandt SL*, Putnam NE*, Cassat JE, and CH Serezani. Innate immunity to Staphylococcus aureus: Evolving paradigms in superficial and invasive infection. Journal of Immunology. 2018. PMID: 29866769. * equal contribution

Nelson A*, Putnam NE*, Hauer D, Baxter V, Adams R, and DE Griffin. Evolution of T cell responses during measles virus infection and RNA clearance. Scientific Reports. 2017. PMID: 28904342. * equal contribution

Additional Publication Citations

Nelson AN, Lin WW, Shivakoti R, Putnam NE, Mangus L, Adams RJ, Hauer D, Baxter VK, and DE Griffin. Association of persistent wild-type measles virus RNA with long-term humoral immunity in rhesus macaques. JCI Insight. 2020. PMID: 31935196.

Ryan D, Patterson N, Putnam N, Wilde A, Weiss A, Perry W, Cassat J, Skaar E, Caprioli R, and J Spraggins. MicroLESA: Integrating Autofluorescence Microscopy, In Situ Micro-Digestions, and Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis for High Spatial Resolution Targeted Proteomic Studies. Analytical Chemistry. 2019. PMID: 31149808.

Buenrostro D, Kwakwa KA, Putnam NE, Merkel AR, Johnson JR, Cassat JE, and JA Sterling. (2018). Adjuvant TGF-β inhibition in mice reduces the incidence of breast cancer induced bone disease in a myeloid dependent manner. Bone. PMID: 29753718.

Thomsen I, Sapparapu, G, Cassat J, Nagarsheth MB, Kose N, Putnam NE, Boguslawsk K, Jones LS, Wood JB, Creech CB, Torres V, and J Crowe. Monoclonal antibodies against the Staphylococcus aureus bicomponent leukotoxin AB (LukAB) isolated following invasive human infection reveal diverse binding and modes of action. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2017. PMID: 28186295.

Hendrix AS, Spoonmore TJ, Wilde AD, Putnam NE, Hammer ND, Snyder DJ, Guelcher SA, Skaar EP, and JE Cassat. Repurposing the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal as an osteoprotective, anti-virulence therapy for Staphylococcus aureus osteomyelitis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2016. PMID: 27324764.

Wilde AD, Snyder DE, Putnam NE, Valentino MD, Hammer ND, Lonergan, ZR, Hinger SA, Aysanoa EE, Blanchard C, Dunman PM, Wasserman GA, Chen J, Shopsin B, Gilmore MS, Skaar EP, and JE Cassat. Bacterial hypoxic responses revealed as critical determinants of the host-pathogen outcome by TnSeq analysis of Staphylococcus aureus invasive infection. PLoS Pathogens. 2015. PMID: 26684646.

Stocks BT, Wilhelm AJ, Wilson CS, Marshall AF, Putnam NE, Major AS and DJ Moore. (2015). Lupus-prone mice resist immune regulation and transplant tolerance induction. American Journal of Transplantation. 2015. PMID: 26372909.

Bogerd, HP, Skalsky, RL, Kennedy, EM, Furuse, Y, Whisnant, AW, Flores, O, Shultz, KLW, Putnam, NE, Barrows, NJ, Sherry, B, Scholle, F, Garcia-Blaco, MA, Griffin, DE, and BR Cullen. Replication of many human viruses is refractory to inhibition by endogenous cellular microRNAs. Journal of Virology. 2014. PMID: 24807715.

Awards and Affiliations

2020 Posting of F31 Full Application and Summary Statement: NIH Educational Sample for Extramural Researchers, NIH Online Resource

2020 NIH Clinical Center CEO Award, Department of Laboratory Medicine, COVID-19 Testing Response Team

Grants and Contracts

Completed Grants

06/01/17 – 05/31/19 Role: PI (80%)

“The Impact of Innate Immune Recognition of Staphylococcus aureus on bone homeostasis and skeletal immunity”

NIH/NOAOD F31-AI133926

Total Direct Costs: $57,000