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Margaret J McFall-Ngai

Margaret McFall-Ngai’s research focuses on how hosts respond to interactions with beneficial microbes. Her lab uses squids to study questions such as how hosts recognize symbiotic bacteria in the environment and harvest them, and what makes a relationship symbiotic rather than pathogenic. They are also studying how symbiotic bacteria influence the development of their host, and how both organisms maintain a healthy balance to keep the symbiosis working.


Elected to National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2014.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2012.

Finalist, International Prize (Japan), 2010.

Finalist, International Prize (Japan), 2009.

Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, 2002.

Miescher-Ishida Prize, 2001.

Relevant Publications

N. Kremer, et al, "The dual nature of hemocyanin in the establishment and persistence of the squid-vibrio symbiosis," P. Roy. Soc. B, vol. 281, no. 1785, June 2014.

S. M. Peyer et al, "Eye-specification genes in the bacterial light organ of the bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes, and their expression in response to symbiont cues," Mech. Dev., vol. 131, pp. 111-126, Feb. 2014.

E. J. Koch et al, "Features governing long-term persistence in the squid-vibrio symbiosis," Mol. Ecol., vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 1624-1634, March 2014.

C. Brennan et al, "A model symbiosis reveals a role for sheathed-flagellum rotation in the release of immunogenic lipopolysaccharide," eLife, vol. 4, no. 3:e01579, March 2014.

T. Koropatnick et al, "Identifying the cellular mechanisms of symbiont-induced epithelial morphogenesis in the squid-vibrio association," Biol. Bull., vol. 226, no. 1, pp. 56-68, Feb. 2014.


M. McFall-Ngai et al, The Influence of Cooperative Bacteria on Animal Host Biology, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.



Advisory Committee Chair Humans & the Microbiome


University of Hawaii at ManoaMedical Microbiology & Immunology


PhD (Biology) UCLA

BS (Biology) University of San Francisco


United States

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