Randall J. Olsen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Clinical Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Research Lab


RJOlsen@houstonmethodist.org
Biography

After completing his fellowship in hematopathology, Dr. Olsen became an Instructor in Houston Methodist Research Institute. He was recently awarded a Fellow-to-Faculty transition award from the American Heart Association to investigate virulence genetics in group A Streptococcus. The study will focus on why certain strains are more capable of causing necrotizing fasciitis, or the devastating “flesh eating” disease. He is a member of several professional societies.

Description of Research

The research in Dr. Olsen’s laboratory is focused on studying the molecular pathogenesis of invasive group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections such as necrotizing fasciitis (NF, also termed the “flesh eating infection”). During the past several years, there have been marked advances in the study of GAS genetics and epidemiology, but overall knowledge of the key molecular pathways and host-pathogen interactions mediating GAS virulence in invasive deep soft tissue infections remains largely incomplete. Previous studies in the Musser laboratory suggest that the metal transporter of the Streptococcus regulator (mtsR) regulatory gene and/or the genes under its control (the “mtsR Axis”) may play an important role in GAS NF. Dr. Olsen’s laboratory uses an integrated molecular approach to study the “mtsR Axis” in GAS NF. Affymetrix GAS gene expression microarray analysis, Luminex-based human serum protein profiling, tissue microarray examination, flow cytometric analysis, in vivo molecular imaging, quantitative microbial culture, and in vitro immunologic assays will be used for the detailed study of specimens derived from preclinical models and human patients. The long-term goal is to leverage knowledge gained to aid the development of new diagnostic tools, vaccine strategies, and therapeutic agents that will significantly improve patient care.

Areas Of Expertise

Group A Streptococcus Necrotizing fasciitis Invasive infection Pathogen-host interactions Microbial virulence
Education & Training

Residency, Baylor College of Medicine
Clinical Fellowship, The Methodist Hospital
PhD, University of Nebraska
MD, University of Nebraska Medical School, Omaha, NE
Research Fellowship, Houston Methodist Hospital
Publications

Creutzfeldt astrocytes may be seen in IDH-wildtype glioblastoma and retain expression of DNA repair and chromatin binding proteins
Ballester, LY, Boghani, Z, Baskin, DS, Britz, GW, Olsen, R, Fuller, GN, Powell, SZ & Cykowski, MD 2018, Brain Pathology. DOI: 10.1111/bpa.12604

Signaling by a conserved quorum sensing pathway contributes to growth ex vivo and oropharyngeal colonization of human pathogen group A streptococcus
Makthal, N, Do, H, VanderWal, AR, Olsen, RJ, Musser, JM & Kumaraswami, M 2018, Infection and Immunity, vol 86, no. 5, e00169-18. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00169-18

Developing an in silico minimum inhibitory concentration panel test for Klebsiella pneumonia
Nguyen, M, Brettin, T, Long, SW, Musser, JM, Olsen, RJ, Olson, R, Shukla, M, Stevens, RL, Xia, F, Yoo, H & Davis, JJ 2018, Scientific Reports, vol 8, no. 1, 421. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18972-w

Updates in Polycythemia Vera
Nagrale, V, Olsen, RJ & Zu, Y 2018, . in C-CJ Chang & R Ohgami (eds), Precision Molecular Pathology of Myeloid Neoplasms. 1st edn, vol. 12, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 115-139. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-62146-3

Genome sequence analysis of emm89 Streptococcus pyogenes strains causing infections in Scotland, 2010–2016
Beres, SB, Olsen, RJ, Saavedra, MO, Ure, R, Reynolds, A, Lindsay, DSJ, Smith, AJ & Musser, JM 2017, Journal of Medical Microbiology, vol 66, no. 12, 000622, pp. 1765-1773. DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.000622

Pancreas metastases from papillary thyroid carcinoma: A review of the literature
Davidson, M, Olsen, RJ, Ewton, AA & Robbins, RJ 2017, Endocrine Practice, vol 23, no. 12, pp. 1425-1429. DOI: 10.4158/EP-2017-0001

PANCREAS METASTASES FROM PAPILLARY THYROID CARCINOMA: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Davidson, M, Olsen, RJ, Ewton, AA & Robbins, RJ 2017, Endocrine practice : official journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. DOI: 10.4158/EP-2017-0001

Whole-genome sequencing of a human clinical isolate of emm28 Streptococcus pyogenes causing necrotizing fasciitis acquired contemporaneously with Hurricane Harvey
Long, SW, Kachroo, P, Musser, JM & Olsen, RJ 2017, Genome Announcements, vol 5, no. 45, e01269-17. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.01269-17

Novel genes required for the fitness of Streptococcus pyogenes in human saliva
Zhu, L, Charbonneau, ARL, Waller, AS, Olsen, RJ, Beres, SB & Musser, JM 2017, mSphere, vol 2, no. 6, e00460-17. DOI: 10.1128/mSphereDirect.00460-17

Whole-genome sequencing of a human clinical isolate of the novel species Klebsiella quasivariicola sp. nov.
Wesley Long, S, Linson, SE, Saavedra, MO, Cantu, C, Davis, JJ, Brettin, T & Olsen, RJ 2017, Genome Announcements, vol 5, no. 42, e01057-17. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.01057-17

Leaderless secreted peptide signaling molecule alters global gene expression and increases virulence of a human bacterial pathogen
Do, H, Makthal, N, VanderWal, AR, Rettel, M, Savitski, MM, Peschek, N, Papenfort, K, Olsen, RJ, Musser, JM & Kumaraswami, M 2017, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705972114

A Critical Role of Zinc Importer AdcABC in Group A Streptococcus-Host Interactions During Infection and Its Implications for Vaccine Development
Makthal, N, Nguyen, K, Do, H, Gavagan, M, Chandrangsu, P, Helmann, JD, Olsen, RJ & Kumaraswami, M 2017, EBioMedicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.05.030

Wholegenome sequencing of human clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates reveals misidentification and misunderstandings of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella variicola, and Klebsiella quasipneumoniae
Long, SW, Linson, SE, Saavedra, MO, Cantu, C, Davis, JJ, Brettin, T & Olsen, RJ 2017, mSphere, vol 2, no. 4, e00290-17. DOI: 10.1128/mSpheredirect.00290-17

Iron efflux by PmtA is critical for oxidative stress resistance and contributes significantly to group A Streptococcus virulence
VanderWal, AR, Makthal, N, Pinochet-Barros, A, Helmann, JD, Olsen, RJ & Kumaraswami, M 2017, Infection and Immunity, vol 85, no. 6, e00091-17. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00091-17

Increased pilus production conferred by a naturally occurring mutation alters hostpathogen interaction in favor of carriage in Streptococcus pyogenes
Flores, AR, Olsen, RJ, Cantu, C, Pallister, KB, Guerra, FE, Voyich, JM & Musser, JM 2017, Infection and Immunity, vol 85, no. 5, e00949-16. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00949-16

Rapid emergence of a new clone impacts the population at risk and increases the incidence of type emm89 group A Streptococcus invasive disease
Teatero, S, Coleman, BL, Beres, SB, Olsen, RJ, Kandel, C, Reynolds, O, Athey, TBT, Musser, JM, McGeer, A & Fittipaldi, N 2017, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, vol 4, no. 2, ofx042. DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofx042

Opacification domain of serum opacity factor inhibits beta-hemolysis and contributes to virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes
Zhu, L, Olsen, RJ & Musser, JM 2017, mSphere, vol 2, no. 2, e00147-17. DOI: 10.1128/mSpheredirect.00147-17

Contribution of Secreted NADase and Streptolysin O to the Pathogenesis of Epidemic Serotype M1 Streptococcus pyogenes Infections
Zhu, L, Olsen, RJ, Lee, JD, Porter, AR, DeLeo, FR & Musser, JM 2017, American Journal of Pathology. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.11.003

Population genomic analysis of 1,777 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, Houston, Texas: Unexpected abundance of clonal group 307
Long, SW, Olsen, RJ, Eagar, TN, Beres, SB, Zhao, P, Davis, JJ, Brettin, T, Xia, F & Musser, JM 2017, mBio, vol 8, no. 3, e00489-17. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00489-17

Houston Methodist Variant Viewer: An Application to Support Clinical Laboratory Interpretation of Next-generation Sequencing Data for Cancer
Christensen, PA, Ni, Y, Bao, F, Hendrickson, HL, Greenwood, M, Thomas, JS, Long, SW & Olsen, RJ 2017, Journal of Pathology Informatics, vol 8, pp. 44. DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_48_17