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Center for Human Nutrition


Kellogg Schwab

Director: JHU Water Institute and the JHU Global Water Program
Academic Degrees
MS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, 1991; Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, 1995
Departmental Affiliation
Environmental Health Sciences
Division of Environmental Health Engineering
Joint Departmental Affiliations
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering
Departmental Address
615 N. Wolfe St Room E6620
Baltimore MD 21205
Phone: (410) 614-5753
Fax: (410) 955-9334
Research and Professional Experience

Kellogg Schwab is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Director of the JHU Water Institute.  

The JHU Water Institute integrates Hopkins researchers from across the university including public health, engineering, arts and sciences, business, behavior, policy and economic disciplines to address the critical triangle of water, food and energy. The goal of this Institute is to achieve sustainable, scalable solutions for disparate water and sanitation needs both internationally and domestically.

Dr. Schwab’s research focuses on environmental microbiology and engineering with an emphasis on the fate and transport of pathogenic microorganisms in water, food and the environment. This work includes extensive laboratory-based research designed to develop and evaluate molecular detection methods with subsequent application of these methods in field-based investigations. Data gathered during these studies are then integrated into exposure assessments for risk analysis and microbial risk assessment.

In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health laboratories Dr. Schwab has investigated numerous waterborne and foodborne outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis. Dr. Schwab’s current research projects involve improving environmental detection methods for noroviruses (the leading cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide) by integrating quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, proteomics and pyrosequencing. He is also investigating how important human pathogens including noroviruses, hepatitis A virus, rotaviruses, Campylobacter, antibiotic resistant E. coli and enterococci, Cryptosporidium parvum, Toxoplasma gondii and molds such as Aspergillus persist and are transported through environmental media (water, air, and food).

Applying classical and molecular diagnostic tools, he has developed and participated in multiple research projects designed to evaluate the public health impacts of improving water access and potable water quality and the effectiveness of point-of-use water treatment. His research group has also examined the health effects of inadequate management of human and animal waste with a focus on assessing the impact of concentrated animal feeding operations on human health, the environment and quality of life in the communities in which these operations are located. He continues to evaluate the impact of human pollution on urban streams and the Chesapeake Bay caused by aging and deteriorating distribution systems by combining microbial, chemical and geographic information system (GIS) data.

Recent international work has focused on developing field-portable microbial and chemical laboratories. These self-contained labs facilitate evidence-based assessments of point of use and community level water treatment systems designed to provide potable water to individuals in low income countries including Nicaragua, Peru, Ghana and South Africa.


Environmental Health Sciences, environmental microbiology, microbial fate and transport, water quality, drinking water treatment, disinfection, groundwater, wastewater, sewage, water and wastewater distribution systems, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, enteric pathogens, parasites (cryptosporidium, toxoplasma, giardia), viruses (norovirus, norwalk-like viruses, hepatitis A virus, rotavirus), bacterial indicators of water quality, bacteriophage, antibiotic resistant bacteria, molecular detection of microorganisms (PCR, RT-PCR, microarrays, hybridization), infectious diseases, microbial risk assessment, food borne and waterborne outbreak investigations, urban environmental pollution, airborne microorganisms, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), Chesapeake Bay research

Honors and Awards

Graduate Student Travel Award, 1993 Hoechst Celanese Excellence in Graduate Research Award, 1993 American Society of Microbiology Travel Award, 1995 Division of Molecular Virology Training Award, 1997-1999 Division of Molecular Virology Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, 1999 Johns Hopkins Award for Excellence in Advising, Mentoring and Teaching, 2005 Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society Alpha Chapter 2009,  American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer 2012-14, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology 2015

Selected Publications

Chalew T, Schwab KJ. Toxicity of commercially available engineered nanoparticles to Caco-2 and SW 480 human intestinal epithelial cells. Cell Biol. Toxicol. V29(2). pp 101-116. 2013.

Gallagher MJ, Huang H, Schwab KJ, Fairbrother H, Teychene B. Generating backwashable carbon nanotube mats on the inner surface of polymeric hollow fiber membranes. J. Membrane Science, V446 pp 59-67. 2013.

Julian T, MacDonald L, Guo Y, Marks S, Kosek M, Yori P, Pinedo S, Schwab KJ. Fecal Indicator Bacteria Contamination of Fomites and Household Demand for Surface Disinfection Products – A Case Study from Peru. American J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. V89(5). Pp869-872. 2013.

Chalew T, Ajmani G, Huang H, Schwab KJ. Evaluating nanoparticle breakthrough during drinking water treatment: a pathway of human exposure. Env. Health Perspectives. V121(10). pp 1161-1166. 2013.

Opryszko M, Guo Y, MacDonald L, MacDonald L, Kiihl S, Schwab KJ. Impact of water-vending kiosks and hygiene education on household drinking water quality in rural Ghana.  American J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, V88(4) pp 651-660. 2013.

Ajmani G, Goodwin D, Marsh K, Fairbrother DH, Schwab KJ, Janangelo J, Huang H, Modification of low pressure membranes with carbon nanotube layers for fouling control.  Water Research, V46(17) pp5645-5654. 2012.

Huang H, Cho H, Jacangelo J, Schwab KJ. Mechanisms of membrane fouling control by integrated magnetic ion exchange and coagulation. Env. Sci Technol. V46, p10711-10717.  2012.

Julian T, Schwab KJ. Challenges in environmental detection of human viral pathogens.  Current Opinion in Virology.  V2 p 1-6. 2012

Harding A, Schwab KJ. Using limes and synthetic psoralens to enhance solar disinfection of water (SODIS): A laboratory evaluation with norovirus, Escherichia coli, and MS2. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. V86 (4). P566-572. 2012 

Huang H, Young T, Schwab KJ, Janangelo J. Mechanisms of virus removal from secondary wastewater effluent by low pressure membrane filtration.  J of Membrane Science.V409 p1-8. 2012. 

Huang H, Cho H, Schwab KJ. Jacangelo JG, Effects of magnetic ion exchange pretreatment on low pressure membrane filtration of natural surface water. Water Research, In Press, 2012. 

Gibson KE, Schwab KJ, Spencer BS, Borchardt M. Measuring and Mitigating Inhibition during Quantitative Real Time PCR Analysis of Viral Nucleic Acid Extracts from Large-Volume Environmental Water Samples. Water Research, V46 pp4281-4291. 2012

Pickering A, Julian T, Marks S, Mattioli M, Boehm A, Schwab KJ, Davis, J. Fecal contamination and diarrheal pathogens on surfaces and in soils among Tanzanian households with and without improved sanitation.  Environ. Sci. and Technol.V46 (11), p5736-43. 2012

Sapkota AR, Hulet RM, Zhang G, McDermott P, Schwab KJ, Joseph SW.  Immediate reductions in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Enterococci as U.S. conventional poultry farms transition to organic practices. Environ Health Perspect. V119 (11). p1622-1628,  2011.

Huang H, Jacangelo JG, Schwab KJ. Decentralized membrane filtration system for sustainable and safe drinking water supply in low-income countries: Journal of Environmental Engineering-ASCE. V137 (11), p 981 2011. 

Cho H, Huang H, Schwab KJ. Effects of solution chemistry on the adsorption of Ibuprofen and Triclosan onto carbon nanotubes.  Langmuir. V27 (21). P12960-12967. 2011

Huang H, Cho H, Schwab KJ, Jacangelo JG. Effects of Feedwater Pretreatment on the Removal of Organic Microconstituents by a Low Fouling Reverse Osmosis Membrane. Desalination. V 281. p 446-454. 2011.

Seitz SR, Leon JS, Schwab KJ, Marshall Lyon G, Dowd M, McDaniels M, Abdulhafid G, Fernandez ML, Lindesmith L, Baric R, Moe CL.  Norovirus infectivity in humans and persistence in water. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.V77 (19), p 6884-6888. 2011.

Huang H, Schwab KJ, Jacangelo JG. Development of a robust bench-scale testing unit for low-pressure membranes used in water treatment. Membrane Water Treatment V2 (2) p121-136.  2011.

Gibson KE, Schwab KJ. Thermal inactivation of human norovirus surrogates.  Food and Environ Virology. V3 (2) p 74-77.  2011

Alcorn T, Opryszko M, Schwab KJ. Formative ethnographic research to improve the evaluation of a novel water system in Ghana. American J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. V84 (5) p.801-805. 2011.

Gibson KE, Schwab KJ. Detection of Bacterial Indicators and Human and Bovine Enteric Viruses in 100 L Surface and Ground Water Samples Potentially Impacted by Animal and Human Wastes in Lower Yakima Valley, Washington.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77 (1), p355-362. 2011.

Gibson KE, Schwab KJ. Tangential Flow Ultrafiltration with Integrated Inhibition Detection for the Recovery of Surrogates and Human Pathogens from Large-Volume Source and Finished Drinking Water.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol.  77 (1), p385-391. 2011.

Gibson KE, Opryszko M, Schissler J, Guo Y, Schwab KJ.  Evaluation of Human Enteric Viruses in Surface Water and Drinking Water Resources in Southern Ghana.  American J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 84(1). p20-29.  2011. 

Nappier SN, Graczyk TK, Tamang,L, Schwab KJ.  Co-localized Crassostrea virginica and Crassostera ariakensis oysters differ in bioaccumulation, retention and depuration of microbial indicators and human enteropathogens. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 108(2), p736-744. 2010.

Opryszko M, Huang H, Soderlund K, Schwab KJ. Data gaps in evidence-based research on small water enterprises in developing countries. Journal of Water and Health. 7(4); p 609-622. 2009.

Yori PP, Schwab KJ, Gilman RH, Nappier S, Portocarrero DV, Black RE, Olortegui MP, Hall, ER, Moe C, Leon J, Cama V and Kosek M. Norovirus highly prevalent cause of endemic acute diarrhea in children in the Peruvian Amazon. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 28(9): p844-847. 2009

Huang H, Schwab KJ, Jacangelo JG. Pretreatment for low pressure membranes in water treatment: A review. Environmental Science and Technology. 43 (9), 3011-3019. 2009.

Rule A, Kesvean J, Schwab KJ, Buckley T. Assessment of bioaerosol generation and sampling efficiency based on Pantoea agglomerans. Aerosol Science and Technology, 43:620-628. 2009.

Nappier SN, Graczyk TK, Schwab KJ. Bioaccumulation, retention and depuration of enteric viruses by Crassostrea virginica and Crassostera ariakensis oysters. Appl and Environ. Microbiol. 74(22):p 6825-6831. 2008.

Young TA, Heidler J, Matos-Perez, CR, Sapkota A, Toler T, Gibson KE, Schwab KJ, Halden RU. Ab initio and in situ comparison of caffeine, triclosan and triclocarban as indicators of sewage-derived microbes in surface waters. Environmental Science and Technology. 42(9); 3335-3340. 2008.

Bae J, Schwab KJ. Evaluation of murine norovirus, feline calicivirus, poliovirus and MS2 as surrogates for human norovirus in a model of viral persistence in surface water and groundwater. Appl and Environ. Microbiol. 74 (2): 2008

Graczyk TJ, Majewska AC, Schwab KJ. The role of aquatic birds in dissemination of human waterborne enteropathogens. Trends in Parasitology. 24(2):2008

Nappier SP, Lawrence RS, Schwab KJ. Dangerous waters. Natural History 116 (9); 46-49. 2007

Graczyk TK, Sunderland D, Rule AM, da Silva AJ, Moura INS, Tamang L, Girouard AS, Schwab KJ, Breysse PN. Urban feral pigeons (Columbia livia) as a source for air-and-waterborne contamination with Enterocytozoon bieneusi spores. Appl and Environ. Microbiol. 73(13): 4357-4358. 2007.

Sapkota AR, Curriero FC, Gibson KE, Schwab KJ. Antibiotic-resistant Enterococci and fecal indicators in surface water and groundwater impacted by a concentrated swine feeding operation. Environmental Health Perspectives. 115(7): 1040-1045. 2007.

McDevitt JJ, Lees PSJ, Merz WM, Schwab KJ. Inhibition of Quantitative PCR Analysis of Fungal Conidia Associated with Indoor Air Particulate Matter. Aerobiologia. 23:35-45. 2007.

Rule A, Kesvean J, Schwab KJ, Buckley T. Application of Flow Cytometry for the Assessment of Preservation and Recovery Efficiency of Bioaerosol Samplers Spiked with Pantoea Agglomerans. Environmental Science and Technology. 41(7); 2467-2472. 2007.

Schwab KJ, Gibson KE, Williams D, Kulbicki KM, Lo CP, Mihalic JN, Breysse PN, Curriero FC, Geyh AS. Microbial and chemical assessment of regions within New Orleans, LA impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Environmental Science and Technology. 41(7); 2401-2406. 2007.

Schwab KJ. Are existing bacterial indicators adequate for determining recreational water illness in waters impacted by non-point pollution? Epidemiology. 18 V1:21-22. 2007.

Sapkota A, Ojo KK, Roberts MC, Schwab KJ. Antibiotic resistance genes in multidrug-resistant Enterococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. recovered from the indoor air of a large-scale swine-feeding operation. Letters in Applied Microbiol. 43:534-540. 2006.

Graczyk TK, Girouard AS, Tamang L, Nappier S, Schwab KJ. Recovery, bioaccumulation, and inactivation of human waterborne pathogens by the Chesapeake Bay non-native oyster, Crassostrea ariakensis. Appl and Environ. Microbiol. 72:3390-3395. 2006.

Colquhoun DR, Schwab KJ, Cole RN, Halden RU. Detection of Norovirus capsid protein in authentic standards and in stool extract by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and nanospray mass spectrometry. Appl and Environ. Microbiol. 72:3069-3071. 2006.

Sapkota AR, Price LB, Silbergeld EK, Schwab KJ. Arsenic resistance in Campylobacter spp. isolated from retail poultry products. Appl and Environ. Microbiol. 72:2749-2755. 2006.

Jacangelo JJ, Askenaizer DJ, Schwab KJ. Research needs in drinking water: a basis for regulations in the United States. Journal of Water and Health. 04:1-9. 2006.

Rule A, Chapin A, McCarthy A, Gibson K, Schwab KJ, Buckley T. Assessment of an Aerosol treatment to Improve Air Quality in a Swine CAFO. Environmental Science and Technology. 39:9649-9655. 2005.

McDevitt JJ, Lees PSJ, Merz WM, Schwab KJ. Use of green fluorescent protein-expressing Aspergillus fumigatus spores to validate quantitative PCR analysis of air samples collected on filters. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 2:633-640. 2005

Wu HM, Fornek M, Schwab KJ, Chapin AR, Gibson K, Schwab E, Spencer C, Henning K. A Norovirus Outbreak at a Long-Term-Care Facility: the Role of Environmental Surface Contamination. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 26:802-810. 2005.

Le E, Schwab KJ. Deficiencies in drinking water distribution systems in developing countries. Journal of Water and Health. 03:109-127. 2005

Weiss WJ, Bouwer EJ, Aboytes R, LeChevallier MW, O’Melia CR, Le BT, Schwab KJ. Riverbank filtration for control of microorganisms: results from field monitoring. Water Research. 39:1990-2001. 2005

Chapin AR, Carpenter CM, Dudley WC, Gibson LC, Pratdesaba R, Torres O, Sanchez D, Belkind-Gerson J, Nyquist I, Kärnell A, Gustafsson B, Halpern JL, Bourgeois AL, Schwab KJ. Prevalence of Norovirus among visitors from the United States to Mexico and Guatemala who experience traveler's diarrhea. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 43:1112-1117. 2005

Chapin A, Rule A, Gibson K, Buckley T, Schwab KJ. Airborne multi-drug resistant bacteria isolated from a concentrated swine feeding operation. Environmental Health Perspectives. 113:137-142. 2005

McDevitt JJ, Lees PSJ, Merz WM, Schwab KJ. Detection and quantification of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by a real-time PCR method for environmental air sampling. Mycopathologia. 158: 325-335. 2004

Duizer E, Schwab KJ, Neill FH, Atmar RL, Koopmans MPG, Estes MK. Laboratory efforts to cultivate noroviruses. Journal of General Virology. 85:79-87 2004.

Schwab KJ, McDevitt JJ. Development of a rapid PCR-EIA detection method for Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:5819-5825. 2003.

Anderson AD, Garrett VD, Sobel J, Monroe SS, Fankhauser RL, Schwab KJ, Bresee JS, Mead PS, Higgins C, Campana J, Glass RI, and the Outbreak Investigation Team. Multistate outbreak of Norwalk-like virus gastroenteritis associated with a common caterer. Am. J. Epidemiol. 154:1013-1019, 2001.

Schwab KJ, Neill FH, Le Guyader F, Estes MK, Atmar RL. Development of an RT-PCR-direct enzyme immunoassay for the detection of Norwalk-Like viruses in shellfish. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:742-749, 2001

Graczyk, TK, Schwab KJ. Foodborne infections vectored by molluscan shellfish. Current Gastroenterology Reports. 2:305-309, 2000.

Gilpatrick SG, Schwab KJ, Estes MK, Atmar RL. Development of an immunomagnetic capture reverse transcription-PCR assay for the detection of Norwalk virus. J. Virological Methods. 90:69-78, 2000.

Daniels NA, Bergmire-Sweat DA, Schwab KJ, Hendricks KA, Reddy S, Rowe SM, Fankhauser RL, Monroe SS, Atmar RL, Glass RI, Mead P. A Foodborne outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with Norwalk-like viruses: first molecular traceback to deli sandwiches contaminated during preparation. J. Infect. Dis. 181:1467-1470, 2000.

Schwab KJ, Neill FH, Fankhauser RL, Daniels NA, Monroe SS, Bergmire-Sweat DA, Estes MK, Atmar RL. Development of methods to detect "Norwalk-like viruses" (NLVs) and hepatitis A virus in deli foods: application to an NLV foodborne outbreak. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66:213-218, 2000.

Schwab KJ, Estes MK, Atmar RL. Norwalk and other human caliciviruses: molecular characterization, epidemiology, and pathogenesis. In, Cary JW, Linz JE, Bhatnagar D (eds): Microbial foodborne diseases: mechanisms of pathogenicity and toxin -synthesis. Technomic Publishing Co., Inc., Lancaster, PA, 2000, pp. 460-493.

Schwab KJ. Small round structured viruses (Human Caliciviruses). In: J Clancy, M. Marshall, M Abbaszadegan (eds). Waterborne pathogens. American Water Works Association, Denver, CO. 1999, pp. 257-261.

Schwab KJ, Neill FH, Estes MK, Atmar RL. Improvements in the RT-PCR detection of enteric viruses in environmental samples. Wat. Sci. Tech. 38:83-86, 1998.

Schwab KJ, Neill FH, Estes MK, Metcalf TG, Atmar RL. Distribution of Norwalk virus within shellfish following bioaccumulation and subsequent depuration by detection using RT-PCR. J. Food Protect. 61:1674-1680, 1998.

Brinker JP, Blacklow NR, Estes MK, Moe CL, Schwab KJ, Herrmann JE. Detection of Norwalk virus infections by use of a monoclonal antibody, recombinant antigen-based IgM-capture enzyme immunoassay. J. Clin. Microbiol. 36:1064-1069, 1998.

Schwab KJ, Estes MK, Neill FH, Atmar RL. Use of heat release and an internal RNA standard control in reverse transcription-PCR detection of Norwalk virus from stool samples. J. Clin. Microbiol. 35:511-514, 1997.

Schwab KJ, De Leon R, Sobsey MD. Immunoaffinity concentration and purification of waterborne enteric viruses for detection by reverse transcriptase-PCR. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:2086-2084, 1996.

Schwab KJ. Concentration and purification of water sample filter eluates for detection of enteric viruses by RT-PCR. J F Burke (ed.). In: PCR Essential techniques. John Wiley and Sons New York, New York. 1996. pp. 144-146.

Schwab KJ, De Leon R, Sobsey MD. Concentration and purification of beef extract mock eluates from water samples for the detection of enteroviruses, hepatitis A virus and Norwalk virus by reverse transcription-PCR. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61:531-537, 1995.

Schwab KJ, De Leon R., Sobsey MD. Development of PCR methods for enteric virus detection in water. Wat. Sci. Tech. 27:211-218, 1993.

Sobsey MD, Schwab KJ, Handzel TR. A simple membrane filter method to concentrate and enumerate male-specific RNA coliphages. J. Amer. Wat. Works Asso. 82:52-59, 1990.

Rosenthal GJ, Stranahan RP, Thompson M, Blair P, Germolec DR, Comment CE, Schwab KJ, Luster MI. Organ-specific hematopoietic changes induced by a recombinant human interferon-alpha in mice. Fund. and Appl. Tox. 14:666-675, 1990.