Michael V. Norgard, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Microbiology at UT Southwestern. He is the holder of the B. B. Owen Distinguished Chair in Molecular Research and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. He was the recipient of the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Rutgers Medical School).

Having published over 150 original works, Dr. Norgard is an internationally recognized expert in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pathogenic spirochetes, most notably those causing syphilis (Treponema pallidum) and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). He was the first to describe treponemal lipoproteins, molecules believed to be crucial in the membrane biology of T. pallidum and largely responsible for the local and systemic inflammatory events of syphilis. He also has developed new molecularly-based diagnostic tests for both acquired (adult) and congenital syphilis.

In his work on Lyme disease, Dr. Norgard was the first to report an alternative sigma factor (RpoN-RpoS) regulatory network in B. burgdorferi. This regulatory cascade governs the expression of key borrelial virulence factors, and its discovery set the stage for understanding differential antigen expression by B. burgdorferi, particularly as it pertains to B. burgdorferi’s life cycle in both its arthropod (tick) and mammalian hosts (including human infection).

Dr. Norgard is listed as the lead inventor on five United States patents related to syphilis diagnosis. Dr. Norgard has 39 years of experience in the training of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, medical students, and visiting scientists.

Dr. Norgard is the Principal Investigator and Director of UT Southwestern’s NIH-supported Molecular Microbiology Training Grant and was the former Chair of UT Southwestern’s Molecular Microbiology Graduate Program. He has been a member of numerous NIH and CDC advisory panels, including serving as Chair of the former NIH Bacteriology and Mycology-1 Study Section and as a member of the NIH Bacterial Pathogenesis (BACP) Study Section. He also has been a member of an international task force for the development of STI diagnostics for resource-poor environments. Dr. Norgard has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Southwest NIH Regional Center of Excellence (WRCE) in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.


Rutgers, the State Uni of Nj (1973), Biology
Graduate School
Rutgers, the State Uni of Nj (1977), Microbiology

Research Interest

  • Bacterial membrane biology
  • congenital infections/women's reproductive health/molecular diagnostics R&D
  • genetic engineering
  • Lyme disease
  • sexually transmitted diseases, particularly syphilis/genital ulcer diseases
  • Syphilis


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Evidence that RpoS (SigmaS) in Borrelia burgdorferi is controlled directly by RpoN (SigmaN)
A.H. Smith, J.S. Blevins, G.N. Bachlani, X.F. Yang, & M.V. Norgard J.Bacteriol. 189 2139-2144
Effect of genital ulcer disease on HIV-1 coreceptor expression in the female genital tract
J.S. Sheffield, G.D. Wendel, D.D. McIntire, & M.V, Norgard J.Infect.Dis. 2007 196 1509-1516
Crystal structure of the Tp34 (TP0971) lipoprotein of Treponema pallidum: implications of its metal-bound state and affinity for human lactoferrin
R.K. Deka, C.A. Brautigam, F.L. Tomson, S.B. Lumpkins, D.R. Tomchick, M. Machius, & M.V. Norgard J.Biol.Chem. 2007 282 5944-5958
Adaptation of a luciferase gene reporter and lac expression system to Borrelia burgdorferi
J.S. Blevins, A.T. Revel, A.H. Smith, G.N. Bachlani, & M.V. Norgard Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2007 73 1501-1513

Honors & Awards

  • Endowed Chair recipient
    B.B. Owen Distinguished Chair in Molecular Research (2003)
  • 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award
    Grad. Sch. Biomed. Sci., Univ. of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (2002)
  • Scientific Advisory Board
    Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense & Emerging Infections (2002)
  • Who’s Who in Science & Engineering
  • Chair, Bacteriology & Mycology-1 Study Section
    NIH; 1993-1994 (1993)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Assn.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Texas Infectious Disease Society