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David C. Straus, PhD

David C. Straus, PhD


Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology
Phone: 806.743.2523
Fax: 806.743.2334
David C. Straus, PhD


David C. Straus is a Professor of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Straus graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio with a B.S. in Biology in 1970. He next received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois in 1974. He next did Postdoctoral research in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1974 to 1975 under Dr. Peter Bonventre. He was then an Instructor of Microbiology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA) from 1975 to 1976. He then became an Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the UTHSCSA from 1976 to 1981. He then moved to TTUHSC in 1981 where he became an Associate Professor of Microbiology where he received tenure in 1984. He was promoted to Full Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in 1995. Additional positions he has held in his academic career include Instructor of Microbiology, Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, 1972 to 1973; Visiting Professor of Microbiology, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary, Calgary Canada, 1989-1990; and Visiting Professor, Trinity School of Medicine, St. Vincents Island, 2011. He has won the three teaching awards at TTUHSC including the President’s Excellence in Teaching award in 1996. He won the TTUHSC Dean’s Research award in 2006. He is currently a member of Sigma X Research Society, the American Society for Microbiology, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He has received one patent for Pasteurella haemolytica vaccine inactivated by ultraviolet light, #6,303,130. His research has been funded by NIH, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The American Heart Association (Texas Affiliate), the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the State of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, QIC Systems, Millenium Technology Transfer, the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Assured Indoor Air Quality, and Munter’s Inc. Indoor Air Quality. He has published over 180 articles with 111 of those in peer-reviewed journals, 27 book chapters, and has edited one book on Sick Building Syndrome. He has reviewed papers for numerous journals and is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Microbiology, Toxins, and the Egyptian Journal of Microbiology. Finally, he is a charter member of the TTUHSC Teaching Academy.



Dr. Straus has been involved in the research of pathogenic microorganisms for over 40 years. For the first 25 years he was involved in examinating the pathogenic mechanisms involved in the disease processes caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Viridans Streptococci, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Pseudomonas cepacia, Pasteurella haemolytica, and Pasteurella multocida. For the last 17 years, he has examined the Microbiology of the phenomenon known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). His research in SBS has shown that certain fungi are responsible for this phenomenon. These organisms include Penicillium chrysogenum and Stachybotrys chartarum which grow on cellulose containing building materials when buildings get wet. The primary compounds these organisms produce in water damaged buildings (WDB) are spores (aka conidia) and mycotoxins. His work has shown that the inhalation of high concentrations of Penicillium chrysogenum spores cause allergic inflammation in an animal model (see figure) and that Stachybotrys chartarum when growing in WDB produces the potent trichothecine mycotoxins known as satratoxins, which get into the air where they are inhaled by persons inside these buildings. This is one possible explanation for the health complaints described by people in WDB where these two organisms can be found. Dr. Straus is also examining the role of sulfur oxidizing and reducing bacteria in Chinese drywall contamination.

Laboratory Techniques

  1. Detection of mycotoxins on surfaces.
  2. Fungal identifications.
  3. Detection of mycotoxins in the air.


For a complete list of publications by David C. Straus in PubMed click here