Olson, Michael

Michael Olson

Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Address: 540 EMRB
Phone: (319) 335-7996
Email: michael-e-olson@uiowa.edu

Mentor: Alexander Horswill, PhD

Undergraduate Institution: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

PhD Institution: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Research Description

My research is focused on understanding factors that lead to improved fitness of Staphylococcus aureus in regards to its ability to colonize and persist on the human host. This research project involves the characterization of a genetic locus that confers the ability of S. aureus to use sialic acid as a carbon source. Ultimately, the goal of these experiments is to determine the in vivo contributions of the genes in this locus to both colonization and virulence.


Zhang C, Zhang M, Ju J, Nietfeldt J, Wise J, Terry PM, Olson ME, Kachman SD, Wiedmann M, Samadpour M, Benson AK. Genome diversification in phylogenetic lineages I and II of Listeria monocytogenes: identification of segments unique to lineage II populations. J Bacteriol. 2003 Sep;185(18):5573-84.

Samrakandi MM, Zhang C, Zhang M, Nietfeldt J, Kim J, Iwen PC, Olson ME, Fey PD, Duhamel GE, Hinrichs SH, Cirillo JD, Benson AK. Genome diversity among regional populations of Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis and Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica isolated from the US. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2004 Aug 1;237(1):9-17.

Giles WP, Benson AK, Olson ME, Hutkins RW, Whichard JM, Winokur PL, Fey PD. DNA Sequence Analysis of Regions Surrounding blaCMY-2 from Multiple Salmonella Plasmid Backbones. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2004 Aug;48(8):2845-52.

Yang Z, Kovar J, Kim J, Nietfeldt J, Smith DR, Moxley RA, Olson ME, Fey PD, and Benson AK. Identification of common subpopulations of sorbitol-non-fermenting, beta-glucuronidase-negative Escherichia coli O157:H7 from bovine production environments and human clinical samples. App. and Environ Microb. 2004 Nov; 70(11):6846-54.

Kozitskaya S, Olson ME, Fey PD, Witte W, Ohlsen K, Ziebuhr W. Clonal analysis of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates carrying or lacking biofilm-mediating genes by multilocus sequence typing. J Clin Micro 2005 Sep; 43(9):4751-7.

Olson ME, Garvin KL, Fey PD, and Rupp ME. Adherence of Staphylococcus epidermidis to biomaterials is augmented by PIA. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Oct; 451:21-4.

Handke LD, Slater SR, Conlon KM, O’Donnell, Olson ME, Bryant KA, Rupp ME, O’Gara JP, and Fey, PD. σB and SarA act at the level of icaADBC transcription to regulate PIA production in Staphylococcus epidermidis. Can J Microbiol. 2007 Jan; 53(1):82-91.

Handke LD, Rogers KL, Olson ME, Somerville GA, Jerrells TR, Rupp ME, Dunman PM, and Fey PD. 2007. Staphylococcus epidermidis saeR is an effector of anaerobic growth and a mediator of acute inflammation. Infect Immun. 2008 Jan;76(1):141-52.

Dempsey M, Dobson M, Zhang C, Zhang M, Lion C, Gutierrez Martin C, Iwen P, Fey PD, Olson ME, Niemeyer D, Francesconi S, Crawford R, Stanley M, Rhoades J, Wagner D, Keim P, Johansson A, Hinrichs SH, and Benson AK. Identification of a genomic deletion marking an emerging subclone of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica in the Iberian Peninsula. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Nov;73(22):7465-70.

Fey PD, Dempsey MP, Olson ME, Chrustowski MS, Engle JL, Dobson ME, Kalasinsky KS, Shea AA, Iwen PC, Wickert RS, Franscesconi SC, Crawford RM, Hinrichs SH. Molecular analysis of Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis and holarctica. Am J Clin Pathol. 2007 Dec;128(6):926-35.

Murthy MH, Olson ME, Wickert RW, Fey PD, Jalali Z. Daptomycin Non-Susceptible Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA 300 Isolate. J Med Microbiol. 2008 Aug;57(Pt 8):1036-8.

Sadykov MR, Olson ME, Halouska S, Zhu Y, Fey PD, Powers R, Somerville GA. Tricarboxylic acid cycle dependent regulation of Staphylococcus epidermidis polysaccharide intercellular adhesin synthesis. J Bacteriol. 2008 Dec;190(23):7621-32.

Fey PD, Olson ME. Current concepts in biofilm formation of Staphylococcus epidermidis. Future Microbiol. 2010 Jun;5(6):917-33.

Olson ME, Slater SR, Rupp ME, and Fey PD. Rifampin enhances activity of daptomycin and vancomycin against both a PIA-dependent and -independent Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm. J Antimicrob Chemother. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2010 Oct;65(10):2164-71.

Lin YC, Anderson MJ, Kohler PL, Strandberg KL, Olson ME, Horswill AR, Schlievert PM, Peterson ML. Proinflammatory exoprotein characterization of toxic shock syndrome Staphylococcus aureus. Biochemistry. 2011 Aug 23;50(33):7157-67.


  • Jeannette Wilkins Award - Best clinical paper presented. MusculoSkeletal Infection Society Annual Meeting. Snowmass, CO, 2005
  • UNMC Fellowship, 2005-2007
  • Selected to represent UNMC at International Student Forum. Beijing, China, 2006
  • NIH Parasitology Training Grant, 2009-2012