David T. Pride, M.D., Ph.D.

David T. Pride, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Director of Microbiology
  • M.D. - New York University School of Medicine 
  • Ph.D. - Vanderbilt University
  • Residency Training: Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine 
  • Fellowship Training: Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Clinical Specialty: Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases

Research Interests

Our laboratory focuses on the role that microbial communities play in human homeostasis, health and disease.  We firmly believe that the various microbial components of human ecosystems including bacteria, viruses, archaea, and fungi are important factors that help determine the natural history of their hosts.  Furthermore, their interactions with humans or their interactions with other microbial constituents in these communities likely have consequences for human health.

Our primary focus is on the role of human viral communities, particularly in the oral cavity.  We have demonstrated that there are robust communities of viruses present in the human oral cavity, most of which are viruses of bacteria.  These viruses likely play a unique role in pathogenesis within the community, as a large proportion of these viruses are involved in lysogeny and bring new gene function into the community that may be utilized by their bacterial hosts.  We are actively pursuing the role that RNA and DNA viruses play in these communities in terms of contributing pathogenic potential, as well as their effect on their host bacterial communities.  Because of our interest in infectious diseases in humans, we study these communities almost exclusively in humans in health and disease.

A secondary focus of the laboratory is to explore the interactions between viruses and their bacterial hosts through examination of bacterial adaptive immune systems called CRISPRs.  We provided the first metagenomic analysis of CRISPRs in human ecosystems, and have demonstrated that Streptococcal species in the human oral cavity are actively adapting immunity to viruses they encounter on a daily basis.  We are continuing to pursue characterists of CRISPRs in human ecosystems, using CRISPRs to trace individual human subjects in both health and disease, to explore the robustness of the immune responses of bacteria against certain viruses, and to track individual bacteria as they may fluctuate in the community.

Another field of interest in the laboratory is to explore the contribution of microbes to metabolism and pathogenesis in human ecosystems.  We are particularly interested in human diseases such as periodontitis, which may have polymicrobial etiology.  We believe that microbes form networks of pathogenic factors and metabolic factors that ultimately have impact upon the whole ecosystem.  Our goal is to identify the minimum necessary microbial factors that contribute to diseases with polymicrobial etiology. 

Representative Publications

  1. Pride, D.T., R.J. Meinersmann, T. Wassenaar, and M.J. Blaser. 2003. Evolutionary implications of tetranucleotide frequencies in prokaryotes. Genome Research. 13: 145-158 
  2. Pride, D.T., T. Wassenaar, C. Ghose, and M. J. Blaser. 2006. Evidence of host-virus co-evolution in tetranucleotide usage patterns of bacteriophages and eukaryotic viruses. BMC Genomics. 7: 8.
  3. Pride, D.T., and T. Schoenfeld. 2008. Genome signature analysis of thermal virus metagenomes reveals Archaea and Thermophilic signatures. BMC Genomics. 9:420
  4. Willner, D., M. Furlan, R. Schmeider, J.A. Grasis, D.T. Pride, D.A. Relman, F.E. Angly, T. McDole, R.P. Mariella Jr, F. Rohwer, and M. Haynes. 2010. Microbes and Health Sackler Colloquium: Metagenomic detection of phage-encoded platelet-binding factors in the human oral cavity.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 20547834 
  5. Pride, D.T., Sun C.L., Salzman J., Rao N., Loomer P., Armitage G.C., Banfield J.F., Relman D.A. 2011. Analysis of streptococcal CRISPRs from human saliva reveals substantial sequence diversity within and between subjects over time. Genome Res. 21: 126-136
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Dr. Pride is originally from Nashville, Tennessee.  He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Wake Forest Univerisity, and entered the MSTP program at Vanderbilt University.  He received his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Vanderbilt University in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Blaser, and completed his MD at New York University.  He finished his medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Internal Medicine, and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University.  Dr. Pride's major interests are in developing diagnostic tests for infectious diseases, and in understanding the role of microbial communities in human health and disease.  He joined the faculty at UCSD in September of 2010.

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