John L. Pace

John L. Pace

John L. Pace

Professor of Microbiology

Office Phone: 252-334-2000 ext. 2094


B.S. in Biology, Salisbury University
M.S. in Food Science, University of Maryland-College Park
Ph.D. in Food Science, University of Maryland-College Park

Courses Taught:

General Biology
Principles of Microbiology
Cell Biology
Introduction to Biological Research

Brief Biography:  John L. Pace, Ph.D. is Visiting Professor of Biology at the Mid-Atlantic Christian University located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and Chief Scientific Officer of FleurirABX, LLC, a biotechnology company based in the United States and France.  He is an infectious disease microbiologist possessing more than 30-years postgraduate biotech/pharma and academic experience in the US, France, and Denmark, having been employed Kean University and North Carolina Central University, and by the companies Roche, Antex Biologics, Theravance, LifeNet, Protez, Novexel, GlaxoSmithKline, AntibioTx, the ATCC Center for Translational Microbiology, and FleurirABX. 

Dr. Pace is cited as inventor on numerous patents, has authored primary and review articles published in high impact journals (Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., Biochem. Pharmacology, Bioorg, Med. Chem. Lett., Cell, Clin. Translat. Med., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., J. Antibiotics, J. Antimicrob. Agents, J. Food Sci., Nature, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, and Vaccine), and presented his work at major international medical/scientific conferences held in the EU, Japan, and the USA.  He has also authored a number of book chapters and been the principle editor of a book on the role of biofilms in antimicrobial resistance.  He is co-inventor of Vibativ (telavancin) which is globally approved for the treatment of Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin structure infections and Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia due to MRSA, as well as three bacterial vaccine clinical candidates for shigellosis, campylobacteriosis, and Helicobacter pylori gastritis in partnership with the Department of Defense.  He has contributed to the development of 12 clinical candidates including leading pre-clinical through Phase II clinical microbiologogical evaluation of ceftazidime-avibactam (AvyCaz) prior to AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Novexel, and pre-clinical microbiology of razupenem for Protez in partnership with DaiNippon-Sumitomo prior to the Novartis acquisition. 

John received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland-College Park (USA) in Food Science following a B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University (USA) and was trained by the late Dr. Tuu-jyi Chai at the university’s oceanographic institute the Horn Point Laboratory where he researched outer membrane physiology and regulation of the marine pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  Subsequently he received postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Nafsika Georgopapa-dakou in the Department of Chemotherapy, Hoffmann-La Roche where Rocephin (ceftriaxone) had been recently discovered and developed.  His work there focused on structure-activity relationships of antibacterial penetration through the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane, and mechanisms-of-action of the dual-action cephalosporins (cephalosporin-quinolone hybrids).  John received a second postdoctoral fellowship and was trained by Dr. Jorge Galan in the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook where he contributed to the discovery of the Gram-negative bacterial Type III Secretion System (T3SS). Other areas of Dr. Pace’s research experience include dermatology, transplantation, the role of the microbiome in health and disease (in collaboration with Dr. James Bubb, Chairman of the Department of Translational Neuroscience, University of Arizona Medical Center-Phoenix) consumer products, foods, and environmental microbiology.  John has mentored both M.S. and B.S. students in their thesis research and undergraduate research projects at both MACU and elsewhere, and has taught Cell Biology, and Biochemistry as an adjunct faculty at MACU since 2019. 

His personal interests include reading autobiographies where living abroad was a significant topic, travel (he has visited every state except Alaska, and 21 countries), and serving through presentations at “Take Your Child to Work Days”, high school career days, and acting as a judge for science fairs.  John is Christian.  His parents named him for John the Baptist.  He was raised in a Methodist household.  Because or his career relocations he has attended many Methodist churches across the US.  John is an outlier of sorts among scientists.  He is a creationist, while being a world class scientist and training MACU students accordingly in the biological sciences.   His perspective is succinct, “God is the ultimate molecular biologist and I am blessed to have the opportunity to teach students about some of God’s greatest creations.”