My research interests are on the molecular pathogenesis of bacterial-host interactions – mechanisms of disease and antibiotic resistance. I am currently examining mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance and virulence of the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be inhibited by small molecules.
For over 35 years, my career has been studying molecular pathogenesis, the use of genetic manipulation of microorganisms to understand the way that they cause disease. As a graduate student, I studied immune responses to Haemophilus influenzae type b with the goal of aiding vaccine development. As a postdoctoral fellow, I studied molecular pathogenesis of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, focusing on the virulence plasmid in mouse models. I brought this work with me to the University of Florida in 1988. I later transitioned into Vibrio vulnificus pathogenesis, working to determine how this “flesh eating” bacterium found in oysters and estuarine waters replicates so rapidly in human tissues causing life-threatening infection. I then moved to a beneficial bacterium, Oxalobacter formigenes, that helps prevent kidney stones by stimulating the excretion of oxalate into the intestines from the blood. I am now in drug discovery, attempting to develop new antibiotics that inhibit the beta-lactamase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa so as to enable beta-lactam antibiotics to be restored in their effectiveness, as well as inhibiting virulence factors of this organism.
My research is in its final stages, so I am not taking new students or postdocs.
Post Doctoral Fellow, Washington University
Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
B.S., Texas A&M University
BMS 6300 Fundamentals of Microbiology and Immunology
BMS 6020 Clinical Neuroscience
BMS 6131 Hematology
BMS 6634 Gastroenterology and Hepatology
BMS 6635 Dermatology and the Musculoskeletal System
BMS 6642 Respiratory Systems
GMS 6038 Bacterial Genetics and Physiology
GMS 6108 Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics, and Genetics
GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases
GMS 6153 Advanced Bacterial Genetics
GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy
Chair, UF Institutional Biosafety Committee
Member, UF Medical Curriculum Committee
Member, State Course Numbering System Committee