Chair and Department Executive Officer
Professor of Microbiology
Office: 3-403B Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242
Lab: 3-401 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242
BA, General Science (Geology), University of Iowa
PhD, Microbiology, University of Iowa
Post Doctorate, University of Minnesota
Education/Training Program Affiliations
Department of Microbiology Graduate Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine
Medical Scientist Training Program
Research in my laboratory studies superantigen and cytolysin exotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus and group A streptococci, as immune system modulators, evaluating their roles in serious human illnesses, including pneumonia and infectious endocarditis. Included in the larger family of superantigens are toxic-shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), the major cause of TSS; staphylococcal enterotoxins, causes of food poisoning and TSS; and streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxins, causes of scarlet fever and a TSS-like illness. Additionally, my laboratory identifies novel strategies to prevent and manage serious human infectious diseases. Specific areas of ongoing research include: 1) elucidation of the mechanisms of cytolysin and superantigen subversion of the immune system at mucosal surfaces; 2) structure-function studies of novel superantigens; 3) development of novel therapeutic agents to prevent infections and treat serious human diseases; 4) characterization of staphylococcal, streptococcal, and enterococcal factors required for development of TSS, pneumonia, infectious endocarditis, and selected other illnesses; 5) characterization of the pathogenesis of novel human illnesses associated with gram-positive bacteria.
Center, Program and Institute Affiliations
Center for Immunology and Immune-based Diseases
NIH Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit
Engineering a soluble high-affinity receptor domain that neutralizes staphylococcal enterotoxin C in rabbit models of disease.
Protein Eng Des Sel.
2013 February. 26(2):133-42.
A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling drive the epithelial response to Staphylococcus aureus toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1).
J Biol Chem.
2012 September 21. 287(39):32578-87.
Immunity to Staphylococcus aureus secreted proteins protects rabbits from serious illnesses.
2012 July 20. 30(34):5099-109.
Use of recombinase-based in vivo expression technology to characterize Enterococcus faecalis gene expression during infection identifies in vivo-expressed antisense RNAs and implicates the protease Eep in pathogenesis.
2012 February. 80(2):539-49.
Comparison of Staphylococcus aureus strains for ability to cause infective endocarditis and lethal sepsis in rabbits.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol.
Ecto-5'-nucleotidase: a candidate virulence factor in Streptococcus sanguinis experimental endocarditis.
Glycerol monolaurate antibacterial activity in broth and biofilm cultures.
Staphylococcus aureus isolates encode variant staphylococcal enterotoxin B proteins that are diverse in superantigenicity and lethality.
A novel core genome-encoded superantigen contributes to lethality of community-associated MRSA necrotizing pneumonia.
2011 October. 7(10):e1002271.
Glycerol monolaurate prevents mucosal SIV transmission.
2009 April 23. 458(7241):1034-8.
Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 -