Shawn Skerrett



Faculty Web Page

Last Updated:  February 2, 2011


Research Focus

My laboratory is focused on innate immunity to bacterial infections of the lungs. We study interactions of bacteria with alveolar macrophages and airway epithelial cells in vitro, and use mouse models of infection to study integrated host defenses in vivo. We make extensive use of genetically altered bacteria and mice to explore specific molecular interactions in microbial virulence and host defense. Current efforts focus on pattern recognition pathways that trigger key responses to Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, and Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Relevant Publications

Skerrett SJ, Wilson CB, Liggitt HD, Hajjar AM: Redundant TLR signaling in the pulmonary host response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2007; 292:L312-322.

Hawn TR, Berrington WR, Smith IA, Uematsu S, Akira S, Smith KD, Aderem A, Skerrett SJ: Altered inflammatory responses in Toll-like receptor 5 deficient mice infected with Legionella pneumophila. J Immunol 2007; 179:6981-6987.

Lembo A, Pelletier M, Iyer R, Timko M, Dudda JC, West TE, Wilson CB, Hajjar AM, Skerrett SJ: Administration of a synthetic TLR4 agonist protects mice from pneumonic tularemia. J Immunol 2008; 180:7574-7581.

West TE, Pelletier MR, Majure MC, Lembo A, Hajjar AM, Skerrett SJ: Inhalation of Francisella novicida ?mglA causes replicative infection that elicits innate and adaptive responses but is not protective against invasive pneumonic tularemia. Microbes Infect 2008; 10:773-780.

West TE, Ernst RK, Jansson MJ, Skerrett SJ: Activation of Toll-like receptors by Burkholderia pseudomallei. BMC Immunology 2008; 9:46.

West TE, Liggitt HD, Frevert CW, Skerrett SJ: Inhalation of B. thailandensis results in lethal necrotizing pneumonia in mice: a surrogate model for pneumonic melioidosis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2008; 102 (S1):S31-S38.

West TE, Hawn TR, Skerrett SJ: Toll-like receptor signaling in airborne Burkholderia thailandensis infection. Infect Immun 2009; 77:5612-5622.

Morris AE, Liggitt HD, Hawn TR, Skerrett SJ: The role of Toll-like receptor 5 in the innate immune response to acute Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2009; 297:L112-L119.


Active Funding

Funding Source

Project Title


Funding Dates

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Comprehensive “omics” for Discovery of Robust Host Response Markers for Human Biothreats

PI of subcontract

6/2008 - 6/2011


Animal Models of Infectious Diseases

Project PI

3/2010 - 3/2017


Role of ENP Physicochemical Properties on Biokinetics and Response in Mice


10/2010 - 9/2015


Current Mentees




T. Eoin West, MD

Assistant Prof

Pulmonary host defense in melioidosis


Past Mentees



Current Position


Amy Morris


Clinical Instructor

University of Washington

Annalisa Lembo


Research Scientist

Seattle Childrens

Tanyalak Parimon


Assistant Professor

University of Washington

Iam Smith


Staff Physician

Virginia Mason Clinic

David Park


Associate Professor

University of Washington


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