John K. Crane MD, PhD

John Crane

John K. Crane

Professor of Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Micro & Immunol. and of Pharmacol & Tox.

Department of Medicine

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Infectious Disease; Infectious Disease; Microbial Pathogenesis; Vitamins and Trace Nutrient

Contact Information
317 Biomedical Research Building
Buffalo, NY 14215
Phone: (716) 829-2676
Fax: (716) 829-3889

Patient Care

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Professional Summary:

I care for patients who are hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center where I also serve as the hospital epidemiologist addressing infection control.

I teach medical students, residents, and fellows in both hospital and classroom settings. In UB’s schools of medicine and dentistry, I teach a variety of topics including microbiology, pharmacology and toxicology, oral biology, and gastrointestinal systems, host defenses, and global health.

I also conduct laboratory research on diarrhea-producing strains of E. coli bacteria. My lab focuses on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Shiga-toxigenic E. coli (STEC, aka EHEC) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). We are working on the role of intestinal host defenses such as nitric oxide and on the immune modulatory effects of adenosine. We have discovered that zinc can directly inhibit the virulence of pathogenic bacteria, and we are working on turning these laboratory findings into treatments. In our work on zinc we collaborate with Michael Duffey, PhD, in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

Recently we have discovered that zinc can inhibit the development of resistance to antibiotics in Escherichia coli and other bacteria. Zinc does this by its ability to inhibit the SOS response, a bacterial stress response triggered by damage to the bacterial DNA. We are collaborating with Dr. Mark Sutton of Biochemistry to better determine the mechanism of zinc in this regard.

I am interested in international medicine and global health and participate in an annual medical mission trip to Honduras, a trip in which student volunteers are encouraged to participate. Closer to home, I am a volunteer physician at Good Neighbors Health Center, a free clinic for the underserved on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Resident physicians are encouraged to volunteer, and students may also be able to arrange clinical experiences.

I am Co-Medical Director, with Dr. Ryosuke Osawa, of the Erie County TB Clinic.

Learning experiences in my laboratory, in infection prevention and hospital epidemiology, or in international health, may be available for motivated students, residents, and fellows.

Education and Training:

  • Fellowship, Infectious Diseases, University of Virginia (1990)
  • Residency, Medicine, University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital (1987)
  • MD, MD, University of Virginia (1984)
  • PhD, Pharmacology, University of Virginia (1983)


  • Professor, Medicine (2014-present)
  • Associate Professor, Medicine, University at Buffalo (1994-present)

Awards and Honors:

  • Outstanding Physician Award, ECMC, 2018 (2018)
  • Cover Photo, Infection & Immunity (2016)
  • Certified, Ebola Treatment Center, New York State (2015)
  • NYS Hospital Acquired Infections Technical Advisory Group (2012)
  • Mentor for Recipient of IDSA Medical Scholar Award, 2012 (2012)
  • Amer Soc. for Microbiol Minority Mentor Award (2011)
  • Mentor for Recipient of IDSA Student Scholar Award, 2011 (2011)
  • Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)
  • American Society for Microbiology Service Award (2008)

Research Expertise:

  • Intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli pathogenesis: Diarrhea-producing E. coli
  • Microbial pathogenesis
  • Role of nitric oxide in host defense in the intestinal tract: Role of nitric oxide in host defense in intestine
  • Role of zinc in intestinal infection

Research Centers:

  • Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology

UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:

  • Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • June 2019–May 2021
    SOS Response as a Generator of Antibiotic Resistance and Role of Zinc as SOS Inhibitor
    National Institutes of Health
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • December 2013–December 2014
    Contamination of Water and the Environment in a Peri-Urban Neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
    University at Buffalo
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • July 2012–June 2014
    Enhancing Host Defenses against Enteropathogenic and Shiga toxigenic E. coli
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • May 2010–May 2013
    Effect of Zinc in Attaching-and-Effacing E. coli infections
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • September 2003–January 2006
    Host cell killing by EPEC: central role in pathogenesis
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2003–August 2005
    Enteropathogenic and toxigenic E. coli Interactions
    Role: Principal Investigator


  • Technology New Disclosure 7260 Technology New Disclosure 7260, July , 2018.

Journal Articles:

See all (35 more)

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society for Microbiology, WNY Branch; past president (2008–2015)
  • American Society for Microbiology, National (2001–2018)
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America; Fellow of the IDSA Member since 1989 (1989–2018)


  • "A difficult TB Case" Infectious Diseases Research Conference, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2020)
  • "Infectious Complications of the Opioid Addiction Crisis" American Medical Seminars, AMS (2020)
  • "Non-tuberculous Mycobacterial Infections of the Eye" Buffalo Ophthalmology Society (BOS), Monthly "Eye Club" (2018)
  • "Infectious Complications of Opiate Addiction Epidemic" Catholic Health System Grand Rounds, Medical- Dental Staff (2018)
  • "Zinc Inhibits Hypermutation by Blocking the SOS Response in E. coli" Amer. Soc. for Microbial. Microbe 2016 Meeting, ASM (2016)
  • "Antimicrobial Stewardship" WNY APIC Chapter Spring Meeting, Assoc. for Professionals in Infection Control (2016)
  • "Infections due to Drug Resistant Organisms" Continuing Education Conference for Health Now, Health Now, formerly Exigence, a physician hospitalist staffing group (2015)
  • "Point-of-use Microbiology for Water, Sanitation, and the Environment in Honduras" Spring meeting, WNY ASM, Western NY Brach of American Soc. for Microbiology (2015)
  • "Skin and Soft Tissue Infections" Primary Care Update, CME Conference, UB Dept. of Medicine (2015)
  • "Legionnaire's Disease" 2013 Fall Symposium, Western NY Branch, American Society for Microbiology (2013)
  • "Adenosine and Purinergic Signaling in Enteropathogenic and Shiga toxigneic E. coli infection" Infectious Diseases Research Conference, University of New Mexico, Infectious Diseases Division (2013)
  • "Efecto de zinc en Infección con E. coli Enteropatogénica y Shiga-toxigénica" Research Day, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Microbiology Dept. (2012)
  • "Effect of Zinc on Enteropathogenic and Shiga-toxigneic E. coli" Experimental Biology, American Society for Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition Symposium (2011)
See all (3 more)

Service Activities:

  • Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Unqualified Promotions; Member (2011–2015)
  • Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Phase I; Member (2000)
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, ECMC Hospital; Committee Member (2014–2020)
  • STOP Sepsis Committee, ECMC; Member of the Committee charged with responding to a new New York State law passed in July, 2013, requiring all hospitals to have a comprehensive plan to recognize and respond to patients with sepsis.; Member (2013–2014)
  • Volunteer Physician, Good Neighbors Health Center; Good Neighbors Health Center is a free clinic for the uninsured on Buffalo's East side, 175 Jefferson Avenue.; Volunteer (2009–2018)
  • Volunteer physician, Good Neighbors Health Center; Good Neighbors Health Center is a free clinic on Jefferson Ave in east Buffalo, serving a poor area of the city; Participant (2008–2016)
  • Buffalo-Honduras Medical Mission Project; Associate Medical Director, Buffalo-Honduras Medical Mission Project. Dr. Lee McCune has led this project since 1989 and I and my family members have joined him most years since 2004.; Co-Director (2004–2016)

School News:

In the Media:

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Contact Information

317 Biomedical Research Building
Buffalo, NY 14215
Phone: (716) 829-2676
Fax: (716) 829-3889

Looking for a doctor? This faculty member is affiliated with UBMD, the group comprised of practicing physicians who are also professors in the UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

View this faculty on UBMD