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  8. Ohgew Kweon
  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Ohgew Kweon Ph.D.

Staff Fellow — Division of Microbiology

ohgew kweon
Ohgew Kweon, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7121

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 About  |  Publications Lab Members


After working in the industry for five years, Dr. Ohgew Kweon joined the Division of Microbiology at the NCTR as an ORISE fellow in 2002. He has since carried out numerous studies addressing a variety of FDA issues with special emphasis on improving methods for environmental risk assessments of priority pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and drugs, by systems biology approaches. Dr. Kweon has also worked on determining antimicrobial resistance and virulence mechanisms of microbial pathogens that may enter the food supply and clinical environments, and using state-of-the-art molecular biological approaches to monitor interactions between human intestinal microbiota, antimicrobial agents, and food contaminants. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2013. Dr. Kweon has co-authored more than 30 scientific publications including book chapters and review articles. His recent publication in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology, “Dynamic Response of Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 to BP Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil,” has been highlighted by Microbe, the monthly news magazine of the American Society for Microbiology. He was awarded the NCTR “Outstanding Service Award” in 2008, the NCTR “Scientific Achievement Award for Excellence in Laboratory Science” in 2015, and the NCTR “Special Act Award” in 2016.

Research Interests

Dr. Kweon’s main research interest is in bridging the gap between genome and phenome. Despite a flood of bacterial data including genome sequences and functional genomics data, considerable knowledge gaps exist between genome and phenome that hinder efforts toward the treatment of diseases, as well as practical biotechnological applications. Pleiotropy and epistasis of biological data are key factors for successful genome-phenome mapping, essential for a better understanding of the microbial world. Motivated by those concepts, his research activities concern the development and application of systemic methods to address questions in the pleiotropic and epistatic complexity of biological data.

Recently Dr. Kweon and colleagues introduced a method called Network-Based Functional Pan-Genomics which systematically integrates the three different types of concepts: network, pan-genomics, and functional genomics. This approach allowed for phenotype-related functional pan-genomic comparison in the Mycobacterial Phenotype Network (MPN) at the genus level, which discovered pleiotropy- and epistasis-dependent evolutionary trajectories of the “PAH-degrading” phenotype in the genus Mycobacterium (O Kweon, et al., BMC Evol Biol. 2015). Pleiotropy and epistasis are open concepts for all biology questions. 

Dr. Kweon specializes in high-throughput data analysis, protein structural analysis, and bioinformatics methods, as well as wet laboratory methods which generate genetic and functional genomics data.

Dr. Kweon’s present research projects include:

  • Detection of microbial contaminants including pathogenic mycobacteria in tattoo inks
  • Multi-omics approach to identify an antimicrobial resistance marker of Staphylococcus aureus associated with antimicrobial-coated medical devices in a biofilm reactor
  • Comparative study to evaluate molecular assays and culture-based reference methods for the detection of toxigenic Clostridium difficile and to evaluate storage conditions on the recovery of C. difficile in clinical stool specimens

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Society for Microbiology
2012 – 2016

Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC)
2016 – Present

Midsouth Computational Biology & Bioinformatics Society (MCBIOS)
2016 – Present

Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB)
2014 – Present

Selected Publications

Mutation Network-Based Understanding of Pleiotropic and Epistatic Mutational Behavior of Enterococcus faecalis FMN-Dependent Azoreductase.
Sun J., Kweon O., Jin J., He G., Li X., Cerniglia C., and Chen H.
Biochem Biophys Rep. 2017, 12:240-244. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2017.10.008.

Improved High-Quality Draft Genome Sequence and Annotation of Burkholderia contaminans LMG 23361T.
Jung J., Ahn Y., Kweon O., LiPuma J., Hussong D., Marasa B., and Cerniglia C.
Genome Announc. 2017, 5(16). pii: e00245-17. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00245-17.

Intrinsic Resistance of Burkholderia cepacia Complex to Benzalkonium Chloride.
Ahn Y., Kim J., Kweon O., Kim S., Jones R., Woodling K., Gamboa da Costa G., LiPuma J., Hussong D., Marasa B., and Cerniglia C.
MBio. 2016, 7(6). pii: e01716-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01716-16.

Isolation and Characterization of Antimicrobial-Resistant Nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica Serovars from Imported Food Products.
Bae D., Kweon O., and Khan A.
J Food Prot. 2016 Aug, 79(8):1348-1354. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-564.

Dynamic Response of Mycobacterium vanbaalenii PYR-1 to BP Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil.
Kim S., Kweon O., Sutherland J., Kim H., Jones R., Burback B., Graves S., Psurny E., and Cerniglia C.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015, 81(13):4263-4276. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00730-15. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

Comparative Functional Pan-Genome Analyses To Build Connections Between Genomic Dynamics and Phenotypic Evolution in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Metabolism in the Genus Mycobacterium.
Kweon O., Kim S., Blom J., Kim S., Kim B., Baek D., Park S., Sutherland J., and Cerniglia C.
BMC Evol Biol. 2015, 15:21. doi: 10.1186/s12862-015-0302-8.

Pleiotropic and Epistatic Behavior of a Ring-Hydroxylating Oxygenase System in the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Metabolic Network from Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Kweon O., Kim S., Kim D., Kim J., Kim H., Ahn Y., Sutherland J., and Cerniglia C.
J Bacteriol. 2014, 196(19):3503-3515. doi: 10.1128/JB.01945-14. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Identification of the Enzyme Responsible for N-Acetylation of Norfloxacin by Microbacterium Sp. Strain 4N2-2.
Kim D., Feng J., Chen H., Kweon O., Gao Y., Yu L., Burrowes V. and Sutherland J.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013, 79(1):314-321. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02347-12. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

Functional Robustness of a Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Metabolic Network Examined in a Nida Aromatic Ring-Hydroxylating Oxygenase Mutant of Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR 1.
Kim S., Song J., Kweon O., Holland R., Kim D., Kim J., Yu L., and Cerniglia C.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012, 78(10):3715-3723. doi: 10.1128/AEM.07798-11. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

Probing the NADH- And Methyl Red-Binding Site of a FMN-Dependent Azoreductase (Azoa) from Enterococcus Faecalis.
Feng J., Kweon O., Xu H., Cerniglia C., and Chen H.
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012, 520(2):99-107. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2012.02.010.

Molecular Characterization of Resistance to Extended-Spectrum Cephalosporins in Clinical Escherichia Coli Isolates from Companion Animals in the United States.
Shaheen B., Nayak R., Foley S., Kweon O., Deck J., Park M., Rafii F., and Boothe D.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011, 55(12):5666-5675. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00656-11. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Metabolic Network in Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Kweon O., Kim S., Holland R., Chen H., Kim D., Gao Y., Yu L., Baek S., Baek D., Ahn H., and Cerniglia C.
J Bacteriol. 2011, 193(17):4326-4337. doi: 10.1128/JB.00215-11. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Substrate Specificity and Structural Characteristics of the Novel Rieske Nonheme Iron Aromatic Ring-Hydroxylating Oxygenases Nidab and Nida3b3 from Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Kweon O., Kim S., Freeman J., Song J., Baek S., and Cerniglia C.
MBio. 2010, 1(2). pii: e00135-10. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00135-10.

Proteomic Applications To Elucidate Bacterial Aromatic Hydrocarbon Metabolic Pathways.
Kim S., Kweon O., and Cerniglia C.
Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 12(3):301-309. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.03.006. Epub 2009 May 4. Review.

Classrho: A Platform for Classification of Bacterial Rieske Non-Heme Iron Ring-Hydroxylating Oxygenases.
Baek S., Kweon O., Kim S., Baek D., Chen J., and Cerniglia C.
J Microbiol Methods. 2009, 76(3):307-309. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2008.11.003. Epub 2008 Nov 28.

Genomic Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Degradation in Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Kim S., Kweon O., Jones R., Edmondson R., and Cerniglia C.
Biodegradation. 2008, 19(6):859-881. doi: 10.1007/s10532-008-9189-z. Epub 2008 Apr 18.

Functional Role of Trp-105 Of Enterococcus Faecalis Azoreductase (Azoa) as Resolved by Structural and Mutational Analysis.
Chen H., Xu H., Kweon O., Chen S., and Cerniglia C.
Microbiology. 2008, 154(Pt 9):2659-2667. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2008/019877-0.

A New Classification System for Bacterial Rieske Non-Heme Iron Aromatic Ring-Hydroxylating Oxygenases.
Kweon O., Kim S., Baek S., Chae J., Adjei M., Baek D., Kim Y., and Cerniglia C.
BMC Biochem. 2008, 9:11. doi: 10.1186/1471-2091-9-11.

A Polyomic Approach To Elucidate the Fluoranthene-Degradative Pathway in Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Kweon O., Kim S., Jones R., Freeman J., Adjei M., Edmondson R., and Cerniglia C.
J Bacteriol. 2007, 189(13):4635-4647. Epub 2007 Apr 20.

Complete and Integrated Pyrene Degradation Pathway in Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1 Based on Systems Biology.
Kim S., Kweon O., Jones R., Freeman J., Edmondson R., and Cerniglia C.
J Bacteriol. 2007, 189(2):464-472. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

Molecular Characterization of Cytochrome P450 Genes in the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Degrading Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Brezna B., Kweon O., Stingley R., Freeman J., Khan A., Polek B., Jones R., and Cerniglia C.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006, 71(4):522-32. Epub 2005 Nov 30.
Erratum in: Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Oct, 72(6):1340.

Molecular Cloning and Expression of Genes Encoding a Novel Dioxygenase Involved in Low- and High-Molecular-Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Degradation in Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1.
Kim S., Kweon O., Freeman J., Jones R., Adjei M., Jhoo J., Edmondson R., and Cerniglia C.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006, 72(2):1045-1054.

Identification of Proteins Induced by Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon in Mycobacterium Vanbaalenii PYR-1 Using Two-Dimensional Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis and De Novo Sequencing Methods.
Kim S., Jones R., Cha C., Kweon O., Edmondson R., and Cerniglia C.
Proteomics. 2004, 4(12):3899-3908.

Lab Members

Contact information for all lab members:
(870) 543-7121

Seong-Jae Kim, Ph.D.
Staff Fellow

Seongwon Nho, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral  Fellow

Contact Information
Ohgew Kweon
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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