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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address MCLM 798 Zip 0006
Phone  (205) 975-5333
Other websites Faculty Page

Undergraduate  Auburn University    1988  B.S. 
Graduate  Mississippi State University    1990  M.S. 
Graduate  University of Alabama at Birmingham    1996  PhD 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor
Primary  Medicine  Med - Pulmonary/Allergy/Critical Care Professor
Center  Cystic Fibrosis Research Center  Cystic Fibrosis Research Center Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Genetics and Genomic Sciences 
Integrative Biomedical Sciences 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. W. Edward Swords received a B.S. in microbiology from Auburn University, followed by a M.S. from Mississippi State University. He completed his PhD studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996. After an ASM/NCID fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Swords carried out postdoctoral work with Dr. Michael Apicella at the University of Iowa, studying the bacterial opportunist nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. In 2002, he joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine where he established an independent research program addressing mechanisms of persistence of bacterial opportunists in otitis media and other airway infections. In 2016, Dr. Swords was recruited to join the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine, where he is currently a tenured Professor of Medicine. He also has appointments as a Senior Scientist in the Gregory Fleming James Center for Cystic Fibrosis Research.

Research/Clinical Interest
Opportunistic infections in the airway
Dr. Swords’ research interests relate to the host and microbial determinants of bacterial colonization and persistence during opportunistic airway infections. His work relates to persistence of bacteria within biofilm communities, impact of polymicrobial infection on etiology and severity of disease, and quorum signaling networks that coordinate biofilm formation and maturation.

Biofilm, otitis media, COPD, quorum signaling, polymicrobial infection