Jeffrey P. Henderson, MD, PhD
Year elected: 2016
Current membership category: Active
Associate Professor
Washington University
Medicine/Infectious Diseases
Campus Box 8051
660 S Euclid
St Louis, MO 63110-1093
United States of America
Phone: 314-747-0240

Biographical statement

Dr. Henderson is an Infectious Diseases specialist and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His research is focused upon the small molecule interactions that influence outcomes when bacterial pathogens encounter human hosts. The Henderson laboratory takes a translational biochemistry approach to infectious diseases involving metabolomic discovery and experimental hypothesis testing. Hypotheses suggested by human studies are tested in disease models, cell culture, biochemical systems and occasionally quantum simulations. A particular focus has been transition metal biology during Gram negative bacterial infections. Dr. Henderson’s lab found that specialized bacterial metabolites originally identified as iron binders (siderophores) were predominantly engaged in copper binding during human urinary tract infections. Subsequent cell culture and biochemical experiments, informed by quantum simulations, now suggest that these copper interactions are used by Gram negative bacterial pathogens to resist host immunity and support nutritional demands during infection. Another line of investigation found remarkable individual differences in the antibacterial activity of siderocalin, a human innate defense protein. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics traced these variations to metabolites derived from dietary compounds that act as metal-binding cofactors for siderocalin. Ongoing work inspired by these findings show how metabolomes at the host-pathogen interface can affect bacterial infectious diseases.

Institutional affiliations

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (Primary)
Deborah J. Veis, MD, PhD is the representative at this institution.


Infectious Disease
Internal Medicine