Margaret McFall-Ngai & Edward (Ned) Ruby
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Margaret McFall-Ngai

Picture of Margaret McFall-Ngai

Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai is a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine and Public Health, and member of the Symbiosis Cluster group, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Eye Research Institute.  Her laboratory studies two areas: 1) the role of beneficial bacteria in health using the squid-vibrio model; 2) the biochemical and molecular ‘design’ of tissues that interact with light.  In addition, she has been heavily involved in promoting microbiology as the cornerstone of the field of biology.

Dr. McFall-Ngai also currently holds the positions of AD White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and EU Marie Curie ITN Professor. She was recently (2011-2013) a Moore Scholar at California Institute of Technology. Dr. McFall-Ngai has been a Guggenheim fellow, and is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology (2002), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011), and the National Academy of Sciences (2014).

Edward (Ned) Ruby

Picture of Edward (Ned) Ruby

Dr. Ruby has worked for 30 years on beneficial bacterial-host interactions. He was hired into the Symbiosis Cluster at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004, where he held the Steenbock Chair of Microbiological Sciences, and was Vice-Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology. He has served on the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology, and been a visiting professor at HuaZhong U, China, and a EU/Marie Curie ITN Researcher at the Max-Planck Institute, Bremen, Germany. Recently, he was a Moore Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, and is currently Chair of the American Academy of Microbiology Awards Board.

In 2015, Dr. Ruby moved his lab back to the University of Hawaii. His current research uses (i) a broad-based approach to analyze how sequential signaling cascades and nutrient manipulation produce rhythmic patterns of bacterial metabolism that underlie the association’s persistence, (ii) new analytical and imaging approaches to discover novel pathways of signaling between the symbiont and its host, and (iii) comparative and functional genomics to discover principles controlling population-level interactions among symbionts.  

Research Philosophy

Divining the Essence of Symbiosis: Insights from the Squid-Vibrio Model

Development of experimental model systems reveals basic principles that underpin the essence of symbiosis and, more specifically, how one symbiosis, the squid-vibrio association, provides insight into the persistent microbial colonization of animal epithelial surfaces. 

Symbiotic Conversations Are Revealed Under Genetic Interrogation

This is an exciting time for biologists, and for microbiologists in particular, to begin to understand how animals and plants communicate with the many bacterial species that live in and on their tissues. Describing the genetic basis of this symbiotic conversation has become a new frontier of biology. 

Lab News

Oct 05, 2017 Squid Ring

BPod, Biomedical Picture of the Day, shows an image from the September 5th issue of PNAS featuring research conducted by the McFall-Ngai and Ruby labs in collaboration with reserchers from the University of Southern California.  News Article

Aug 28, 2017 Profile - Margaret McFall-Ngai

Margaret is featured in PNAS talking about past, current and future work in her lab and how the squid-vibrio modell system participated in the current understanding of animal-microbe symbioses. News Article

Jul 31, 2017 Journal Club: Turning the Light On

Nature Reviews Immunology’s Journal Club selection for this month was Koropatnick et al. Science  2004. Richard Locksley, UCSF/HHMI, remembers how this article changed his concept of innate immunology

News Article

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Margaret McFall-Ngai & Edward Ruby

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McFall-Ngai Lab
Margaret McFall-Ngai
Phone: (808) 539-7331

Ruby Lab
Edward (Ned) Ruby
Phone: 808-539-7300