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Personal profile

Personal profile

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.

Research interests

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.

Education/Academic qualification

Hepatology/Transplant Medicine, Clinical Fellowship, The Methodist Hospital

Jul 1 2006Jun 1 2007

Award Date: Jun 1 2007

Pathology, Residency, Baylor College of Medicine

Jul 1 2003Jun 1 2006

Award Date: Jun 1 2006

MD, University of Nebraska Medical School, Omaha, NE

Aug 1 1996May 1 2003

Award Date: May 1 2003

Pathology and Microbiology, PhD, University of Nebraska


Hematopathology, Research Fellowship, Houston Methodist Hospital

Research Area Keywords

  • Infectious Disease & Pathology

Free-text keywords

  • Group A Streptococcus
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Invasive infection
  • Pathogen-host interactions
  • Microbial virulence

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Research Output

  • 1 Scopus citations

    Clinical Utility of Reflex Ordered Testing for Molecular Biomarkers in Lung Adenocarcinoma

    Anand, K., Phung, T. L., Bernicker, E. H., Cagle, P. T., Olsen, R. J. & Thomas, J. S., Jan 1 2020, In : Clinical Lung Cancer.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Convalescent plasma anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein ectodomain and receptor binding domain IgG correlate with virus neutralization

    Salazar, E., Kuchipudi, S. V., Christensen, P. A., Eagar, T., Yi, X., Zhao, P., Jin, Z., Long, S. W., Olsen, R. J., Chen, J., Castillo, B., Leveque, C., Towers, D., Lavinder, J. J., Gollihar, J., Cardona, J. A., Ippolito, G. C., Nissly, R. H., Bird, I., Greenawalt, D. & 14 others, Rossi, R. M., Gontu, A., Srinivasan, S., Poojary, I., Cattadori, I. M., Hudson, P., Josleyn, N. M., Prugar, L., Huie, K. E., Herbert, A. S., Bernard, D. W., Dye, J. M., Kapur, V. & Musser, J. M., Sep 10 2020, In : The Journal of clinical investigation.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Genetic heterogeneity of the Spy1336/R28—Spy1337 virulence axis in Streptococcus pyogenes and effect on gene transcript levels and pathogenesis

    Eraso, J. M., Kachroo, P., Olsen, R. J., Beres, S. B., Zhu, L., Badu, T., Shannon, S., Cantu, C. C., Saavedra, M. O., Kubiak, S. L., Porter, A. R., DeLeo, F. R. & Musser, J. M., 2020, In : PLoS ONE. 15, 3, e0229064.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Genome-Wide Screens Identify Group A Streptococcus Surface Proteins Promoting Female Genital Tract Colonization and Virulence

    Zhu, L., Olsen, R. J., Beres, S. B., Ojeda Saavedra, M., Kubiak, S. L., Cantu, C. C., Jenkins, L., Yerramilli, P., Pruitt, L., Charbonneau, A. R. L., Waller, A. S. & Musser, J. M., Apr 1 2020, In : American Journal of Pathology. 190, 4, p. 862-873 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Prizes

    Academic Excellence Award

    Olsen, Randall J. (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Best Publication in Translational Research (coauthor)

    Olsen, Randall J. (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Pathologist of the Year

    Olsen, Randall J. (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: National/international honor

    Top Doctors

    Olsen, Randall J. (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: National/international honor