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Paul A. Lawson, PhD

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Paul Lawson, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology

813 George Lynn Cross Hall
770 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019
325-4426 (Office)
Lawson Lab Website

BSc. (Honors) Special Biochemisty, Royal Holloway College,
University of London, 1984.
Ph.D. London Hospital Medical College, University of London, 1993.
Postdoc, Institute of Food Research, Reading, UK, 1991-1999
Senior Research Fellow, University of Reading, UK, 1999-2005.

Research areas:
Microbiology, Environmental Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Anaerobic Microbiology

Research interests:
In 2005, I relocated from the University of Reading, UK where I had spent almost 15 yrs as a Senior Research Fellow with the world-renowned microbial taxonomist M. David Collins. My major academic achievements and research interests are in microbial systematics that contributed towards a fundamental restructuring of the genus Clostridium, and the description of a plethora of a wide range of novel taxa from human, environmental, clinical and veterinary sources. My current interests focus on gastrointestinal microbiology (human/swine), biocorrosion, hot springs microbiology, and New & Emerging animal and human pathogens. This portfolio, based in systematics and taxonomy as contributes towards a diverse publication record (>144) that includes 16 chapters in Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, widely regarded as the preeminent resource for microbial identification and taxonomy. I have also contributed 3 chapters to Biodiversity and Taxonomy of the Lactic Acid Bacteria. My 25yrs experience enables me to respond to regular requests for my opinions and assistance with taxonomic problems associated with organisms from diverse sources. Although employing molecular techniques, my students and I also focus on the traditional cultivation skills of the microbiologist. In 2011 I founded the “Center for Microbial Identification and Taxonomy”, bringing together my strengths and interest the seamless use of both traditional microbiological and molecular techniques. Only in the combination of these methods can we begin to understand the interrelationships of organisms within complex and diverse ecosystems.

Relevant Publications:
Obregon-Tito, A.J., Tito, R.Y., Metcalf, J., Sankaranarayanan, K., Clemente, J.C., Ursell, L.L., Xu, Z.Z., Van Treuren, W., Knight, R., Gaffney, P.M., Spicer, P., Lawson, P., Marin-Reyes, L., Trujillo-Villarroel, O., Foster, M., Guija-Poma, E., Troncoso-Corzo, L., Warinner, C., Ozga, A.T. and Lewis, C.M. (2015). Subsistence strategies in traditional societies distinguish gut microbiomes. Nature Communications. 6, 6505.

Jumas-Bilak, E., Philippe Bouvet, P., Allen-Vercoe, E., Lawson, P. A., Aujoulat, F., Jean-Pierre, H., Hélène Marchandin, H. (2015). Rarimicrobium hominis gen. nov., sp. nov., the fifth genus in the phylum Synergistetes including human clinical isolates. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol.  65: 3965-3970

Patel, N., Tito, R,  Obregón-Tito, A., Trujillo-Villaroel, O., O’Neal, L., Marin-Reyes, L., Troncoso-Corzo, L.,  Guija-Poma,  E., Lewis Jr. C. and  Lawson, P.A. (2015).  Ezakiella puruensis gen. nov., sp. nov. isolated from feces from a hunter-gatherer community in Peru. Anaerobe. 32: 43-48.

Lawson, P.A., and Rainey, F.A Proposal to restrict the genus Clostridium (Prazmowski) to Clostridium butyricum and related species. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 66: 1009-1016.

Patel, N. B., Tito, R. Y., Obregon-Tito, A. J., O'Neal, L., Trujillo-Villaroel, O., Marin-Reyes, L., Troncoso-Corzo, L., Guija-Poma, E., Lewis, C. M., Jr & Lawson, P. A. (2016). Peptoniphilus catoniae sp. nov., isolated from a human faecal sample from a traditional Peruvian coastal community. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 66, 2019–2024. 

Lawson, P. A., Citron, D. M., Tyrrell, K. L. & Finegold, S. M. (2016). Reclassification of Clostridium difficile as Clostridioides difficile (Hall and O'Toole 1935) Prévot 1938. Anaerobe 40, 95–99.