Helene Andrews-Polymenis, DVM, PhD

Helene Andrews-Polymenis, DVM, PhD


Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology
8447 Riverside Pkwy
Medical Research & Education Building (MREB), Rm. 3008
Bryan, TX   77807-3260

Phone: 979.436.0340
Fax: 979.436.0360

Education and Training

  • AB Biology, Brown University, 1989
  • PhD Tufts University, 1999
  • DVM Texas A&M University, 2001

Research Interests 

Our Work in Salmonella Pathogenesis

Salmonella is a leading cause of food borne illness in humans and livestock. In humans, these organisms cause an estimated 1.4 million cases of Salmonella enteritis annually in the United States.

We identify Salmonella genes needed during infection of model and natural hosts using genetics and determine their molecular function using a range of methodologies including cell culture, biochemistry, and larger scale systems biology approaches. Our work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the USDA (NIFA), and other extramural sources.

The long-term goals of our work are three fold:

(1)  To understand the full complement of functions encoded in the Salmonella genome. Nearly half of all genes in a given bacterial genome are unannotated or poorly annotated, leaving us without any knowledge of the functions of these genes. Salmonellae are no exception. We must determine the full array of functions Salmonella are capable of, in order to understand the complex biology of this organism.

(2)  To understand those functions needed by the organism during colonization of a host animal. In order to colonize and survive in an infected host, Salmonella must initiate and maintain a particular virulence and metabolic program. Identifying and understanding these functions allows one to target them to reduce Salmonella colonization.

(3)  To target Salmonella functions needed during infection for intervention, preventing colonization and/or disrupting the growth of this organism in a host animal. Few effective pre-harvest intervention strategies exist to reduce Salmonella colonization of livestock animals. Furthermore, currently available antibiotics do not effectively reduce the duration of Salmonella enteritis in infected individuals, and do not reduce the duration of sub-clinical fecal shedding. We are interested in developing new strategies to reduce Salmonella colonization and infection.

Laboratory Personnel 

  • Lydia Bogomolnaya, PhD , Assistant Professor for Research
  • Jyotsana Gupta, PhD, Associate Research Scientist
  • Marissa Talamantes (Research Technician)
  • Ahmed Elsaadi (Research Technician)
  • Chris Bowden (BIMS Undergraduate Program)
  • Yara Mohammed (Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program)
  • Sandhiya Ravichandran (Biology Undergraduate Program)
  • Madison Bartosh (BIMS Undergraduate Program)

Laboratory Alumni 

Graduate Students: 

  • Dr. Christine Sivula, DVM, MA
  • Dr. Mollie Megan Reynolds, PhD
  • Hee-Jeong Yang - PhD
  • Tiana Endicott- MD, PhD
  • Dr. Johanna Elfenbein DVM, - PhD        
  • (Current Position:  Assistant Professor, NC State)

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Yi Zheng (Former Postdoc)
  • Dr. Jinbai Guo (Former Postdoc)


Faber, F., Thiennimitr, P., Byndloss, M., Lawhon, S., Andrews-Polymenis, H., Winter, S., Baumler, A.J. (2016) Respiration of microbiota-derived 1,2-propanediol drives Salmonella expansion during colitis. PLOS Pathogens. Accepted 12/14/2016.

McLaughlin, P., McClelland, M., Yang, H.J., Porwollik, S., Bogomolnaya, L., Chen, J.S., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., and A.W.M. van der Velden (2016) Contribution of asparagine catabolism to Salmonella virulence. Infection and Immunity. Accepted 11/10/2016

Wrande, M., Andrews-Polymenis, H., Twedt, D.J., Steele-Mortimer, O., Porwollik, S., McClelland, M., and L.A. Knodler (2016) Determinants of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium proliferation in the cytosol of epithelial cells. Infection and Immunity. Accepted 09/2016.

Yang, H.J., Bogomolnaya, L.M., Endicott-Yazdani, T., Reynolds, M.M., Porwollik, S., Cheng, P., Xia, X.Q., McClelland, M., and H. Andrews-Polymenis. (2016)  Screening of pools of multi-gene deletion mutants identifies Salmonella genes needed during infection of chicks. Infection and Immunity, doi:10.1128/IAI.01525-15 .

 Silva-Valenzuela, C.A., Molina-Quiroz, R.C., Desai, P., Valenquela, C., Porwollik, S., Zhao, M., Hoffman, R.M., Andrews-Polymenis, H., Contreras, I., Santiviago, C.A., and M. McClelland (2016)  Analysis of two complementary single-gene deletion mutant libraries of Salmonella Typhimurium in intraperitoneal infection of BALB/c mice. Frontiers in Microbiology. Dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01455

Elfenbein, J.R., Knodler, L.A., Nakayasu, E.S. Ansong, C., Brewer, H.M., Bogomolnaya, L., Adams, L.G., McClelland, M., Adkins, J.N., and H. Andrews-Polymenis (2015) Multicopy single-stranded DNA directs intestinal colonization of enteric pathogens.  PLOS Genetics, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005472 .

Bogomolnaya, L.M., Aldrich, L., Ragoza, Y., Talamantes, M., McClelland, M., and H. Andrews-Polymenis. (2014) Identification of novel factors involved in modulating motility of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium. PLOS One, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0111513.

Porwollik, S., Santiviago, C.A., Cheng, P. Long, F., Desai, P., Fredlund, J., Srikumar, S., Chu, W., Chen, X., Canals, R., Reynolds, M.M., Bogomolnaya, L., Shields, C. Cui, P., Guo, J., Endicott-Yazdani, T., Yang, H.J., Maple, A., Ragoza, Y., Blondel, C.J., Valenzuela, C., Santiviago, C.A., and H. Andrews-Polymenis*, and M. McClelland* (2014) Defined single-gene and multi-gene mutant collections in Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium. PLOS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099820*Co-corresponding authors

Pezoa, D., Blondel, C.J., Silva, C.A., Yang, H.J., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Santiviago, C.A., and I. Contreras. (2014) Only one of the two Type VI secretion systems encoded in the Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin genome is involved in colonization of the avian and murine host. Veterinary Research Journal. 45:2. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-45-2

 *Bogomolnaya, L.M., Andrews, K.D., Talamantes, M., Maple, A., Ragoza, Y. and H. Andrews-Polymenis (2013) An ABC-type efflux pump MacAB is involved in protection of Salmonella enterica serot. Typhimurium against oxidative stress. mBio Oct 29; 4(6) pii: e00630-13. doi 10.1128/mBio.00630-13.

*mBio’s most highly accessed paper of Jan 2014, cited by Faculty of 1000

Elfenbein, J.R., Endicott-Yazdani, T., Porwollik, S. Bogomolnaya, L.M., Cheng, P. Guo, J., Zheng, Y., Yang, H.J., Talamantes, M., Shields, C., Maple, A., Ragoza, Y., DeAtley, K., Tatsch, T., Cui, P., Andrews, K.D., McClelland, M., Lawhon, S., and H. Andrews-Polymenis (2013) Novel determinants of intestinal colonization of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium identified in bovine enteric infection. Infection and Immunity. September doi:10.1128/IAI.00874-13.

Nagy, T.A., Moreland, S.M., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., and C. Detweiler (2013) The ferric enterobactin transporter, Fep, is required for persistent Salmonella infection. Infection and Immunity. August, doi: 10.1128/IAI.00412-13

Zheng, Y., Sambou, T., Cirillo, J.D., McClelland, M., and H. Andrews-Polymenis (2013) The EAL-domain containing protein STM2215 (rtn) is a cyclic di-GMP phosphodiesterase that is needed during Salmonella infection. Mol. Microbiology. Online 12 July 2013. DOI: 10.1111/mmi.12284.

Pezoa, D., Blondel, C.J., Santiviago, C.A., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., and I. Contreras (2013) The type VI secretion system encoded in SPI-6 plays a role in gastrointestinal colonization and systemic spread of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in the chicken. PLoS One 8(5) e63917. PMCID: PMC3653874

 Kullas, A.L., McClelland, M., Yang, H.J., Torres, A., Porwollik, S., Mena, P., Andrews-Polymenis, H., and A.W.M., van der Velden (2012) Salmonella utilize L-asparaginase II to inhibit the response of mammalian T cells. Cell, Host and Microbe. 12(6), 791-8. doi 10.1016/j.chrom.2012.10.018

Hao, L.y., Willis, D.K., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., McClelland, M., and J.D. Barak (2012) Salmonella enterica requires siderophore biosynthesis to colonize plants. App. Environ. Microbiology. 13:4561-4570. 

Canals, R., Xia, X.Q., Fronick, C., Clifton, S.W., Ahmer, B.M.M., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Porwollik, S., and M. McClelland (2012) High-throughput comparison of gene fitness among related bacteria. BMC Genomics, 13(1): 212.

Silva, C.A., Blondel, C.J., Quezada, C.P., Porwollik, S., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Toro, C.S., Zaldivar, M., Contreras, I., McClelland, M., and C.A. Santiviago (2012) Infection of mice by Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis involves additional genes that are absent in the genome of serovar Typhimurium. Infection and Immunity, doi:10.1128/IAI.05497-11.

Kanluk, N.A., Canadlen, V., Bagshaw, R.D., Makowski, M., Braun, V., Landekic, M., Mitra, S., Huang, J., Heo, W.D., Meyer, T., Pelletier, L., Andrews-Polymenis, H., McClelland, M., Pawson, T., Grinstein, S., and J.H. Brumell. (2011) Salmonella exploits Arl8B-directed kinesin activity to promote endosome tubulation and cell-to-cell transfer. Cellular Microbiology.  doi:10.1111/j.1462-5822.2011.01663.x,  PMID: 21824248

Reynolds, M., Bogomolnaya, L., Guo, J., Aldrich, L., Bokhari, D., Santiviago, C.A., McClelland, M., and H. Andrews-Polymenis (2011) Abrogation of the twin arginine transport system in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium leads to colonization defects during infection. PLoS One. Jan 26;6(1):e15800. PMID 21298091. PMCID: PMC3027627

 Weatherspoon, N. Zhao, G., Kong, W., Kong, Y. Morigen, M. Andrews-Polymenis, H., McClelland, M. and Yixin Shi (2011) The CpxR/CpxA two-component system up regulates two Tat-dependent peptidoglycan amidases to confer bacterial resistance to the antimicrobial peptide protamine. Journal of Biological Chemistry.  286(7): 5529-39. PMID:21149452

Winter, S.E., Winter, M. G., Godinez, I. Yang, H.J., Russman, H., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., and A.J. Baumler (2010) A rapid change in virulence gene expression during the transition from the intestinal lumen into tissue promotes systemic dissemination of Salmonella. PLoS Pathogens 6(8) e1001060. PMCID: PMC2924370

 Blondel, C.J., Yang, H.J., Castro, B., Chiang, S., Toro, C.S., Zaldivar, M., Contreras, I.,Andrews-Polymenis, H.L.**, and Carlos A. Santiviago**. (2010) Contribution of the Type VI Secretion System encoded in SPI-19 to chicken colonization by Salmonella enterica serotypes Gallinarum and Enteritidis. PLoS One 5(7): e11724. Doi:10.1371.  PMCID: PMC2908676

Reynolds, M.M., Canals, R. McClelland, M., and H.L., Andrews-Polymenis (2011) High-Throughput Screening to Determine the Genetic Requirements for Salmonella Survival under different Growth Conditions. In ‘ Salmonella- from genome to function’ Ed. Steffen Porwollik (Horizon Press) 2010.

Canals, R., McClelland, M., Santiviago, C.A., and H.L. Andrews-Polymenis (2010) Genomics of Salmonella ssp. In ‘Genomics of Foodborne Pathogens’. Ed. Wei Zhang & Martin Wiedmann, (Springer) 2010.

Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Baumler, A.J., McCormick, B.A., and F. Fang (2010) Taming the Elephant: Frontiers in Salmonella Biology, Pathogenesis and Prevention. Infection and Immunity. 78(6) p. 2356-2369. PMCID: PMC2876576

Santiviago, C.A., Blondel, C.L., Quezada, C.P., Silva, C.A., Tobar, P.M., Porwollik, S., McClelland, M., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Toro, C.S., Zaldivar, M., and I. Contreras (2010) Spontaneous excision of the Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis-specific defective prophage-like element ΦSE14. J. Bacteriology, 192(8), 2246-2254 . PMCID: PMC2698986

Nunes, J.S., Lawhon, S.D., Rossetti, C.A., Khare, S., Figueiredo, J.F., Gull, T., Burghardt, R.C., Baumler, A.J., Tsolis, R.M., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., and L.G. Adams (2010) Morphologic and Cytokine Profile Characterization of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium Infection in Calves with Bovine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency. Veterinary Pathology, 47(2) 322-333. PMCID: PMC2848297

Santiviago, C.A.*, Reynolds, M*. Porwollik, S., Choi, S.H., Long, F. Andrews-Polymenis, H.**, and M. McClelland** (2009) Analysis of pools of targeted Salmonella deletion mutants identifies novel genes affecting fitness during competitive infection in mice. PLOS Pathogens, 5(7): e1000477.  PMCID: PMC2698986


 Katribe, E., Bogomolnaya, L.M., Wingert, H. and H. Andrews-Polymenis (2009)  Subspecies IIIa and IIIb Salmonellae colonize the intestine poorly in murine models of infection. Journal of Bacteriology 191 (8) 2843-2850. PMCID: PMC2668413

Andrews-Polymenis, H.L.*, Santiviago, C. and M. McClelland (2009) Novel Genetic Tools for Studying Food Borne Salmonella. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 20, 1-9. PMCID: PMC2762399

Sivula, C.P., Bogomolnaya, L.B., and H.L. Andrews-Polymenis (2008) A Comparison of Cecal Colonization of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium in White Leghorn Chicks and Salmonella-resistant Mice.  BMC Microbiology, 8, 182. PMCID: PMC2596157

Bogomolnaya, L.M., Santiviago, C.A., Yang, H.J., Baumler, A.J., and H. L. Andrews-Polymenis (2008) ‘Form Variation’ of the O12 antigen is critical for persistence of Salmonella Typhimurium in the Murine Intestine. Mol. Microbiology, 70(5), 1105-1119.

Lenz, L.L. and H. Andrews-Polymenis. (2008) Silencing the Alarm:  insights into the interaction between host and pathogen.  EMBO Reports 9, 27-32.  PMCID: PMC2246619

Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Dorsey, C.,W., Raffatellu, M., and Bäumler. A.J. (2006)‘Expression, function, and in vivo identification of Salmonella virulence factors.’ In Salmonella Infections: Clinical, Immunological and Molecular Aspects.  Ed. Pietro Mastroeni (Cambridge University Press).

Andrews-Polymenis, H.L. and Baumler, A.J.  ‘Salmonella ssp.’ In Pathogenomics.  Ed. Joerg Hacker and Ulrich Dobrindt, (WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim) 2005.

Tukel, C., Raffatellu, M., Humphries, A.D., Wilson, R.P., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Adams, L.G., and Baumler, A.J., (2005) CsgA is a pathogen-associated molecular pattern of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium that is recognized by Toll-like receptor 2.  Molecular Microbiology, 58(1), 289-304.

Raffatellu, M., Wilson, R.P., Tran, Q.T., Chessa, D., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Lawhon, S.D., Figueiredo, J.F., Adams, L.G., and Baumler, A.J. (2005) Host restriction of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi is not caused by functional alteration of SipA, SopB or SopD. Infection and Immunity, 73(12), 7817-7826.  PMCID: PMC1307101

Raffatellu, M., Wilson, R.P., Chessa, D., Andrews-Polymenis, H.L.,  Tran, Q.T., Lawhon, S., Khare, S. Adams, L.G., and Bäumler, A.J. (2005) SipA, SopA, SopB, SopD, and SopE2 contribute to Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium invasion of epithelial cells.  Infection and Immunity 73(1):  1-9.  PMCID: PMC538951

Andrews-Polymenis, H.L., Rabsch, W., Porwollik, S., McClelland, M., Rosetti, C., Adams, L.G., and Bäumler, A.J.(2004)  Host restriction of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium pigeon isolates does not correlate with loss of discrete genes.  Journal of Bacteriology 186(9):  2619-2628. PMCID: PMC387805

Zhang, S., Kingsley, R.A., Santos, R.L., Andrews-Polymenis, H., Raffatellu, M., Figueiredo, J.,  Nunes, J., Tsolis, R.M., Adams, L.G., and Bäumler, A.J. (2003) Molecular Pathogenesis of  Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium-Induced Diarrhea. Infection and Immunity 71(1):  1-12.  PMCID: PMC143292

Rabsch, W., Andrews, H.L., Kingsley, R.A., Prager, R., Tschaepe, H., Adams, L.G., and A. Bäumler, (2002) Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium and its host adapted variants.  Infection and Immunity 70:  2249-2255. PMCID: PMC127920

Watarai, M.*, Andrews, H.L.*, and Isberg, R. R., (2001)  Formation of a fibrous structure on  the surface of Legionella pneumophila associated with exposure of DotH and DotO proteins after intracellular growth. Molecular Microbiology 39(2):  313-329. PMID: 11136453

*The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

 Vogel, J.P., Andrews, H.L., Wong, S.K., and Isberg, R.R. (1998) Conjugative transfer by the virulence system of Legionella pneumophila.  Science 279: 873-876. PMID: 9452389

Andrews, H.L., Vogel, J.P., and Isberg, R.R. (1998) Identification of linked genes of Legionella pneumophila essential for intracellular growth and evasion of the endocytic pathway.  Infection and Immunity 66(3): 950-958. PMCID: PMC108001

Kirby, J.E., Vogel, J.P., Andrews, H.L., and Isberg, R.R. (1998) Evidence for pore forming ability by L. pneumophila.  Molecular Microbiology 27(2): 323-336. PMID: 9484888

Wang, J., Andrews, H., and Thukral, V., (1992) Presynaptic glutamate receptors regulate noradrenaline release from isolated nerve terminals.  J. Neurochemistry 58(1): 204-211.