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Howie Weiss

Howie Weiss

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Professor of Biology

219 Mueller Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-6750


I am a Biomathematican/Modeler, and very recently moved to Penn State from Gerogia Tech. We work closely with microbiologists, biochemists, virologists, physicians, etc. Our group construct models to generate hypotheses that are tested experimentally, to provide a framework for the design and interpretation of experiments, and to generalize on experimental results. We also use models to investigate the plausibility of hypotheses, and sometimes we even devise predictive models. I have been the PI of the Boeing-sponsored FlyHealthy™  research study whose goal is to understand the rates and routes of transmission of infectious diseases in an airplane cabin during flight and to find strategies to mitigate transmission

Research Interests

The population and evolution dynamics of populations of bacteria, including the effect of physical structure on the horizontal transfer of genes and genetic elements, and the production of toxins.

Pharmacodynamics of Antibiotics and Bacteriphage, especially in physical structure

Rational Antibiotic Therapy and Combating Antibiotic Resistance

Transmission of Respiratory Infections

Microbiome Assembly, Dynamics, and Stability

Selected Publications

Weiss, H., Hertzberg, V. S., Dupont, C., Espinoza, J. L., Levy, S., Nelson, K., ... & FlyHealthy Research Team. (2019). The Airplane Cabin Microbiome. Microbial ecology77(1), 87-95 (Weiss and Hertzberg are co-first authors)

Chaudhry, W. N., Pleška, M., Shah, N. N., Weiss, H., McCall, I. C., Meyer, J. R., ... & Levin, B. R. (2018). Leaky resistance and the conditions for the existence of lytic bacteriophage. PLoS biology16(8), e2005971.

Hertzberg, V. S., Weiss, H., Elon, L., Si, W., Norris, S. L., & FlyHealthy Research Team. (2018). Behaviors, movements, and transmission of droplet-mediated respiratory diseases during transcontinental airline flights. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences115(14), 3623-3627 (Weiss and Hertzberg are co-first authors)

Mummert, A., & Weiss, H. (2017). Controlling viral outbreaks: Quantitative strategies. PloS one12(2), e0171199.

 Levin, B. R., McCall, I. C., Perrot, V., Weiss, H., Ovesepian, A., & Baquero, F. (2017). A numbers game: ribosome densities, bacterial growth, and antibiotic-mediated stasis and death. MBio8(1), e02253-16.