Abiola Olaitan

Abiola Olaitan
Assistant Professor
Location: B1 291C
Phone: 519-888-4567 x40969


Abiola Olaitan seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms modulating the pathogenesis of Clostridioides difficile, including its defense against host-generated chemical stresses and the emergence of antibiotic resistance, to understand how these have shaped the bacterial physiology, pathogenesis, and disease severity.

Clostridioides difficile recently emerged as a major epidemic hypervirulent pathogen globally. It encounters several chemical stressors, such as host-generated reactive species, which it must contend with to survive in the host. The continued production of these reactive molecules also leads to inflammation in the host.

Dr. Olaitan’s research interests are to:
1. understand the repertoire of molecular mechanisms that C. difficile employs to defend against reactive species that cause chemical stresses, and
2. elucidate the molecular factors modulating the pathoevolution and emergence of antibiotic resistance in C. difficile.

The goal of our research program is to translate this fundamental knowledge towards understanding the implication of these adaptations in C. difficile pathogenesis and developing novel alternative therapeutic approaches.

We are seeking outstanding, highly motivated students to join our team to investigate these exciting topics. If you are interested in undertaking graduate studies in our lab, please send your CV, transcript and one-page statement of interest to aolaitan@uwaterloo.ca.

Research Interests

  • Bacterial pathogenesis
  • Response to reactive species
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Genomics


  • 2015 Ph.D. Infectious disease and Human Pathology, Aix-Marseille University, France
  • 2012 M.Sc. Environmental Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  • 2008 B.Tech. Microbiology (First Class), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria


  • 2022 Research Excellence in Genomics & Bioinformatics (Genome Canada/Canadian Black Scientists Network (CBSN)
  • 2021 Best poster presentation: GSO Symposium, Texas A&M Health Science Center, USA
  • 2017 Top reviewers for Duke University (Overall): Publon
  • 2016 Top reviewers in Immunology and Microbiology: Publon
  • 2012-2015 Infectiopôle Sud Foundation PhD fellowship, Aix-Marseille University, France
  • 2015 ASM Student and Postdoctoral Fellows Travel Grant. ICAAC/ICC 2015, USA
  • 2015 Best oral presentation: Journée l’Infectiopôle Sud-Méditerranée Infection, France
  • 2013 Best poster: Journée l’Infectiopôle Sud-Méditerranée Infection, France
  • 2008 Best graduating student (Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences) – Undergraduate, LAUTECH, Nigeria


  • Associate Editor: International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
  • Reviewer: Emerging Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, Journal of Infection, New Microbes and New Infections, BMC Infectious Diseases, Frontiers in Microbiology

Professional Associations

  • Canadian Society of Microbiologists
  • Canadian Black Scientists Network
  • ASM Science Teaching Fellows Alumni Community


  • BIOL 449 - Public Health Microbiology
    • Taught in 2024

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

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