Alicia Zimbeck

Alicia Zimbeck

Address: D154 MTF
Phone: (319) 335-4285
Email: alicia-zimbeck@uiowa.edu

Mentor: Lee-Ann H. Allen, PhD

Undergraduate Institution: Wartburg College

Research Description

Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of Tularemia and is considered to be a potential biological warfare agent. F. tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that escapes the phagosome of innate immune cells and proliferates in the cytoplasm. Various screens for genes involved in proliferation within primary human macrophage have identified multiple LPS and capsule mutants, many of which remain uncharacterized. Numerous discrepancies have arisen in the literature regarding some of these mutants. For instance, treatment with cytochalasin D has been shown to both block and not block uptake of F. tularensis and its LPS and capsule mutants, suggesting that receptor mediated phagocytosis may not be the only mechanism of uptake. Also, it has been shown that some of these mutants are deficient in phagosome escape while others are not, and some mutants are more cytotoxic than others. The goal of our studies is to elucidate how F. tularensis LPS and capsule mutants engage primary human macrophage receptors to determine the fate of both the bacteria and macrophage.


Lockhart SR, Zimbeck AJ, Baddley JW, Marr KA, Andes DR, Walsh TJ, Kauffman CA, Kontoyiannis DP, Ito JI, Pappas PG, Chiller T. In vitro echinocandin susceptibility of Aspergillus isolates from patients enrolled in the Transplant-Associated Infection Surveillance Network. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Aug;55(8):3944-6. PMID: 21670187

Zimbeck AJ, Iqbal N, Ahlquist AM, Farley MM, Harrison LH, Chiller T, Lockhart SR. FKS mutations and elevated echinocandin MIC values among Candida glabrata isolates from U.S. population-based surveillance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Dec;54(12):5042-7. PMID: 20837754


  • EID Laboratory Training Fellow 2009-2010