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Oliver H. Voss, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Microbiology and Immunology

Additional Title:

Research Associate/Junior Faculty


685 W. Baltimore St. Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

  • Lise-Meitner School (Germany); BS in Chemistry and Chemical-Technical Assistant (CTA), 1997
  • University of Applied Sciences (Germany); Graduate Engineer (Dipl.-Ing.), Biotechnology, 2002
  • The Ohio State University (Ohio); PhD, Molecular Genetics, 2010
  • The Ohio State University (Ohio); Post-Doctoral Fellow, Molecular Genetics, 2013
  • National Institutes of Health, Visiting Fellow, Receptor Cell Biology, LIG, NIAID, 2017






Research/Clinical Keywords

Monocytes, Macrophages, Inflammasome, Apoptosis, Autophagy, Caspases, TLR signaling, Rickettsia infection and other infectious diseases

Highlighted Publications

Voss, O.H., Cobb, J., Gaytan, H., Rivera Diaz, N., Sanchez, R., De Tolla, L., Rahman, M.S., Azad, A.F. (2022). Pathogenic, but not non-pathogenic, Rickettsia evade inflammasome-dependent IL-1 responses to establish an intracytosolic replication niche. mBio. 13: e0291821, doi: 1128/mBio.02918-21, PMCID: PMC8822360.

Ghosh, S., Kumar, M., Santiana, M., Mishra, A., Zhang, M., Labayo, H., Chibly, A.M., Nakamura, H., Tanaka, T., Henderson, W., Lewis, E., Voss, O.H., Su, Y., Belkaid, Y., Chiorini, J.A., Hoffman, M.P., Altan-Bonnet, N. (2022). Enteric viruses replicate in salivary glands and infect through saliva. Nature. 29:1-6. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04895-8. PMID: 35768512; PMCID: PMC9243862.

Voss, O.H.*, Rahman, M.S.*. (2021). Rickettsia-Host interaction: Strategies of intracytosolic host colonization. FEMS Pathogens and Disease. 79: 1-11, PMCID: PMC8023194.

Voss, O.H.*, Arango, D.*, Tossey, C., Villalona CaleroM.A., and Doseff, A.I. (2021). Splicing reprogramming of TRAIL/DISC-components by dietary apigenin sensitizes lung cancer cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Cell Death and Disease. 12: 1-12, doi: 10.1038/s41419-021-03567-1, PMCID: PMC7969956.

Voss, O.H., Gillespie, J.J., Lehman, S.S., Rennoll, S.A., Beier-Sexton, M., Rahman, M.S., Azad, A.F. (2020). Risk1, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase effector, promotes Rickettsia typhi intracellular survival. mBio. 11: 1-22, doi: 10.1128/mBio.00820-20, PMCID: PMC7298712.

Voss, O.H., Murakami, Y., Pena, M.Y., Lee, H.N., Tian, L., Margulies, D.H., Street, J.M., Yuen, P., Qi, C.F., Krzewski, K. and Coligan, J.E. (2016). Lipopolysaccharide-induced binding of CD300b to Toll-like receptor 4 alters signaling to drive lethal cytokine responses that enhance septic shock. Immunity. 44: 1365–1378, doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.05.005, PMCID: PMC4917413.

Malavez Y.*, Voss, O.H.*, González-Mejia, E.M., Parihar, A., and Doseff, A.I. Distinct contribution of protein kinase Cδ and protein kinase Cε in the lifespan and immune response of human blood monocyte subpopulations. Immunology. 2015 144:611-20.

Voss, O.H., Tian, L., Murakami, Y., Coligan, J.E., and Krzewski, K. Emerging role of CD300 receptors in regulating myeloid cell efferocytosis. Molecular & Cellular Oncology. 2015 2:4, e964625.

Murakami, Y., Tian, L., Voss, O.H., Margulies, D.H., Krzewski, K., and Coligan, J.E. CD300b regulates the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells via phosphatidylserine recognition. Cell Death and Differentiation. 2014doi: 10.1038/cdd.2014.86.

Akhter, A., Caution, K., Abu Khweek, A., Tazi, M., Abdulrahman, B.A., Abdelaziz, D.H., Voss, O.H., Doseff, A.I., Hassan, H., Azad, A.K., Schlesinger, L.S., Wewers, M.D., Gavrilin, M.A., and Amer, A.O. Caspase-11 promotes the fusion of phagosomes harboring pathogenic bacteria with lysosomes by modulating actin polymerization. Immunity. 2012 37: 35-47.

González-Mejia, E.M.*, Voss, O.H.*, Murnan, E.J. and Doseff, A.I. Apigenin-induced apoptosis of leukemia cells is mediated by a bimodal and differentially regulated residue-specific phosphorylation of heat-shock protein-27. Cell Death and Disease.2010 1, e64, doi:10.1038/cddis.2010.41.

Wood, K.*, Voss, O.H.*, Huang, Q., Parihar, A., Metha, N., Batra S. and Doseff, A.I. The small heat shock protein 27 is a key regulator of CD8+CD57+-lymphocyte survival. J. Immunol. 2010 184: 5582–5588. Selected for “In this issue” special editor’s commentary.

Voss, O.H.*, Batra S.*, Kolattukudy S.J., Gonzalez-Mejia M.E., Smith J.B. and Doseff A.I. Binding of caspase-3 prodomain to heat shock protein 27 regulates monocyte apoptosis by inhibiting caspase-3 proteolytic activation.  J. Biol. Chem. 2007 282: 25088-99.

Vargo, M.A., Voss, O.H., Cardounel, A.J., Grotewold, E. and Doseff, A.I. Apigenin-induced-apoptosis is mediated by the activation of PKCδ and caspases in leukemia cells.  Biochem. Pharmacol. 2006 72: 681-692.

Voss, O.H.*, Kim, S.*, Wewers, M.D. and Doseff, A.I. Caspase-3 is a phosphoprotein and associates with PKCδ during spontaneous monocyte apoptosis. J. Biol. Chem. 2005 280: 17371-17379.

*Shared equal first authorship

Research Interests

My research goal is to understand the mechanism(s) by which rickettsiae, including species of the spotted fever group (e.g., R. rickettsii), or typhus group (R. typhi) subvert host innate immune defense pathways to establish their replication niche in the cytosol of host cells.

Primarily, my work is focused on:

I) characterizing novel host cell surface receptors that facilitate Rickettsia engulfment by phagocytes

II) determining the mechanism(s) by which rickettsiae evade cytosolic-sensor defense mechanisms like inflammasome and autophagy

III) identifying the Rickettsia species-specific effector repertoire and their role in manipulating cellular defense mechanisms to facilitate host colonization

Awards and Affiliations


2016, Oliver H. Voss, Konrad Krzewski, and John E. Coligan. Use of CD300b antagonists to treat sepsis and septic shock. Inventors: U.S. Patent Application No. 62/308,144. 

Grants and Contracts

R21AI166821 NIH/NIAID     (Voss/Rahman MPI)                                                             06/01/2022 to 05/31/2024 

Title: Virulent Rickettsia species utilize the CD300f phosphatidylserine-binding receptor on macrophages for host colonization and pathogenesis

Goals: To unveil mechanisms of rickettsial invasion with the goal to identify more efficacious antimicrobial targets to combat fatal rickettsial diseases