Tiara Perez Morales, PhD

Tiara Perez Morales, PhD

Associate Professor

Phone: 630-829-1359
Office Location: Birck 334

B.S. Industrial Microbiology, University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus 2007
M.S. Microbiology, University of Iowa 2010
Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Iowa 2013
Postdoctoral Trainee, University of Illinois at Chicago 2013-2017

Courses Taught:

BIOL1198: Principles of biology; BIOL3208: Microbiology Lab; BIOL5354: Immunology; BIOL5591: Special Topics in Biology, Infectious Diseases

Recent Publications:

  • Pérez Morales, T.G., Ratia, K., Wang, D-S., Gogos, A., Bloem, L., Driver, T., and Federle, M.J. A novel chemical inducer of Streptococcus quorum sensing acts by inhibiting the pheromone-degrading endopeptidase PepO. J Biol Chem 2018 Jan 19; 293(3):931-940
  • Pérez Morales T.G., Ho TD, Liu WT, Dorrestein PC, Ellermeier CD. Production of the cannibalism toxin SDP is a multistep process that requires SdpA and SdpB. J Bacteriol. 2013 Jul; 195(14):3244-51.

Research Interest

Our laboratory focuses on Lactobacillus sp, a human commensal of the gastrointestinal and vaginal tract. We are working to define how Lactobacilli communicate and respond as a bacterial community. Our long term goals are to determine the effects of this communication for host cells. Our projects include characterizing quorum sensing pathways, identifying cellular and environmental signals, and discovery of quorum sensing effects in cells.

For more information, please visit our website: https://www.perezmoraleslab.com

Summer Research:

Tiara Perez Morales, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
[email protected]



Our laboratory focus is on microbial genetics, molecular biology, and phage biology. Our primary goals are to study how bacteria such as the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes and the human commensal Lactobacillus acidophilus communicate through the process of quorum sensing and may be affected by external cues. A secondary goal is to study infection cycles of soil bacteriophages and what variables affect their growth.

Students may be able to work on in-person projects related to small molecule effects on S. pyogenes or L. acidophilus quorum sensing, S. pyogenes protein to quorum sensing peptide interactions, and/or phage growth analysis and archiving. For more information, please visit our website: https://www.perezmoraleslab.com or here to view the work done with soil phages: https://phagesdb.org/institutions/BENU/