Kalai Mathee, M.Sc, Ph.D., M.P.H


Human and Molecular Genetics

Office: AHC4 223

Phone: 305-348-0628

Email: Kalai.Mathee@fiu.edu

Lab: AHC4 241

Kalai Mathee is a professor, researcher, and founding faculty member at HWCOM. She is the first FIU faculty member inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2020. Mathee founded the FIU Global Health Conference in 2011 and the Global Health Consortium in 2014.

Mathee has mentored 140+ individuals and published over 130 articles and book chapters in the fields of alginate gene regulation, antimicrobial resistance, gut, lung metagenome and microbiome, alternate therapeutics, forensic science, comparative genomics, and bioinformatics. She is an internationally recognized speaker and serves as a co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Microbiology.  She has five patents to her credit.


M.P.H., Health Policy and Management, Florida International University (2018).
Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology, University of Tennessee, Memphis (1992).
M.Sc., Microbial Genetics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1986).
B.Sc., Genetics, University of Malaya. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1984).

Awards and Honors

  • Senior Scholar of The Florida Alliance for Graduate Education in the Professoriate (FL-AGEP), 2021.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, 2020.
  • Member, Microbiology Society Prokaryotic Division, 2020-2023.
  • International Organizing Chair, 17th Biennial International Conference on Pseudomonas. Malaysia, 2019.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Medical Microbiology, Microbiology Society, UK, 2017 –  2022.
  • Section Editor (Senior Editor), Journal of Medical Microbiology, Microbiology Society, UK, 2015 – 2017.
  • International Organizing Chair, 15th Biennial Asian Conference on Transcription. Penang, Malaysia, 2017.
  • Organizing Chair, Annual Global Health Conferences, 2011 – 2016.
  • New England Biolabs Passion in Science Award, 2014.
  • Ignite Torch Bearer, Torch Bearer Society, Florida International University, 2014.
  • Distinguished Fellow, Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center (MABIC), 2013.
  • Honorary Research Fellow, The High Impact Research Group, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2013.
  • Member, National Academy of Inventors (Florida Chapter), 2012.
  • Civic Engagement Award, Program in the Study of Spirituality Florida International University, 2012.
  • President’s Council Worlds Ahead Faculty Award, Florida International University, 2011.
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentorship, Florida International University, 2011.
  • Beauty and the Best Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Community and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, South Florida Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 2008.
  • Excellence in Research Award, Florida International University, 2004.
  • Ranjit Bhagwan Singh Fellowship, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, 2000.


Mathee's research interests include Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis, focusing on alginate gene regulation, antimicrobial resistance, and alternate therapeutics (botanicals and novel compounds). She has extensively published in microbiomics (soil, lung, gut, and vaginal).  Her research incorporates the use of the microbiome in forensic science. Recently she has developed an interest in bioinformatics, especially for comparative genomics (Pseudomonas aeruginosa genomes), using machine learning tools to analyze differential gene expression, epigenomics, and microbiomes.

Selected Publications

  1. Mathee K, Cickovski T, Deoraj A, Stollstorff M, Narasimhan G. (2020) The gut microbiome and neuropsychiatric disorders: implications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Journal of Medical Microbiolgy 2020 Jan;69(1):14-24. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.001112. Review. PMID:31821133
  2. K. Mathee. (2018) Forensic investigation into the origin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 — old but not lost. Journal of Medical Microbiology August 67:1019–1021 DOI 10.1099/jmm.0.000778
  3. Lee*, S. Dhar*, S. De Benedetti, D. Hesek, B. Boggess, B. Blázquez, K. Mathee, and S. Mobashery^. (2016) Muropeptide pool and the elicitors of ß-lactam-antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 55(24):6882-6. doi: 10.1002/anie.201601693.  Corrigendum: Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 55(41):12568. doi: 10.1002/anie.201608482
  4. Balasubramanian, H. Kumari, M. Jaric, M. Fernandez, K.H. Turner, S.L. Dove, G. Narasimhan, S. Lory and K. Mathee. (2014) Deep sequencing analyses expands the Pseudomonas aeruginosa AmpR regulon to include small RNA-mediated regulation of iron acquisition, heat-shock and the oxidative stress response. Nucleic Acids Research 42(2):979-98. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt942
  5. K. Mathee, G. Narasimhan, C. Valdes, X. Qiu, J. M. Matewish, M. Koehrsen, A. Rokas, C. N. Yandava, R. Engels, E. Zeng, R. Olavarietta, M. Doud, R. Smith, P. Montgomery, J. White, P. A. Godfrey, C. Kodira, B. Birren, J. Galagan and S. Lory. (2008) Dynamics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genome evolution. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA 105(8):3100-3105.
    • Highlighted by 
      • Genome Technology Online, Feb 20, 2008, “Survival through genome shapeshifting” 
      • Selected for review by Faculty of 1000 Biology