Molly Hughes

Hughes, Molly A.

Primary Appointment

Professor, Medicine: Infectious Diseases and International Health


  • BS, Chemistry, summa cum laude, Bucknell University
  • MD/PhD, Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University

Contact Information

PO Box 800513
MR-6, Room 1525
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Telephone: 434-982-1700
Fax: 434-924-0075

Research Interests

Biodefense and emerging pathogens

Research Description

The goal of the primary research project in the Hughes laboratory is to investigate a select family of host interferon-inducible CXC chemokines known as CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 as novel antimicrobial agents to combat bacterial pathogens that cause infections. For our ongoing project, we study the lung pathogen, Bacillus anthracis, based on our work demonstrating that CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 exhibit antimicrobial effects against both the spore and vegetative bacillus form of B. anthracis. This work has led to exciting new findings of putative bacterial targets applicable to the development of potential new therapeutic strategies against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, including multi-drug resistant bacterial strains.

Another area of research of the Hughes laboratory has resulted from an ongoing, international collaboration with Infectious Diseases colleagues at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. Studies include a focus on 1) etiologies of respiratory infections in adults and children, 2) identification of biomarkers of gut health, and 3) mechanisms of multi-drug antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens.

Selected Publications