Projects & Investigators



CURRENT INVESTIGATORS

 

Paul D. Fey, Ph.D., D(ABMMI) 
Professor of Pathology and Microbiology
Medical Director of Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, The Nebraska Medical Center
Dr. Fey received his training in staphylococcal biology, pathogenesis and genetics from Dr. Richard Goering (Ph.D. Creighton University 1995) and Dr. Gordon Archer (Post-doctoral fellowship Medical College of Virginia 1995-1997). Clinical microbiology training was received from both St. Joseph’s Hospital in Omaha, NE and Medical College of Virginia Hospital in Richmond, VA. 

 Dr. Fey

Jill K. Lindgren, B.S. (Technologist)
B.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (Microbiology)
M.S., University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (Pathology and Microbiology)

Jill is studying the function of both copies of arginine deiminase (ADI) in S. epidermidis biofilm maturation in addition to ADI regulation by ArcR, ArgR, and Rex.

 

 Jill Lindgren

Carolyn R. Schaeffer, B.S. (Ph.D. candidate)
B.S., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN (Biology)

Carolyn is investigating the clinical and functional relevance of polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) and accumulation associated protein (Aap)-dependent S. epidermidis biofilms using relevant animal models of infection.   

 Carolyn Schaeffer

Austin S. Nuxoll, B.S. (Ph.D. candidate)
B.S., University of Nebraska-Kearney, Kearney, NE (Biology)

Austin is studying the metabolism and transcriptional regulation of arginine biosynthesis in S. aureus and its relationship to staphylococcal pathogenesis.  

 Austin Nuxoll

Katie L. Maliszewski, B.S. (M.D./Ph.D. scholar)
B.S., Doane College, Crete, NE (Biology)

S. aureus is not thought to be naturally competent and yet have orthologous genes that are known to function in competence in Bacillus subtilis. Katie is investigating the function of com genes in an ill-defined phage-mediated competence system originally defined by Dr. Peter Pattee in the 1970s. 

 

 Katie Wilcox

Roxanne Alter, M.T. (ASCP), M.S. (Research Coordinator)
B.S., University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO (Biology)
MT (ASCP), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 
M.S., University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (Pathology and Microbiology)

Roxanne coordinates several studies between the Center for Staphylococcal Research and clinical departments at UNMC. She also coordinates a study determining the prevalence of expanded-spectrum cephalosporin- and carbapenem-resistance in Enterobacteriaceae isolates from multiple clinical microbiology laboratories in Nebraska.

Roxanne Alter

Cortney Halsey B.S. (Ph.D. Student)
B.S., Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD (Biology)

Cortney is studying the function of AhrC and ArgR in the regulation of arginine biosynthesis and arginine deiminase in Staphylococcus aureus.

Cortney Halsey

Tra-My N Hoang, BS (PhD student)
B.S. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE (Biology) 

Tramy is currently studying adherence of Aap-dependent adherence to epithelial cells and the genetic regulation of Aap cleavage.  

 

LABORATORY ALUMNI

Elaine M. Waters, Ph.D.
Elaine received her Ph.D. from UCD Dublin in Ireland under the mentorship of Professor Jim O’Gara. She studied the relationship between virulence, biofilm formation and methicillin-resistance in S. aureus. Elaine studied in our laboratory for approximately one year (September 2012-July 2013) in a collaborative project with Professor O’Gara and Hannah McCarthy assessing the function of AtlE in a mouse flank model of infection.  She is currently studying in the laboratory of Professor Aras Kadioglu at the University of Liverpool.

 Elaine Waters, Ph.D.

Wendy P. Jamison, Ph.D. 

Dr. Jamison, who received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Iowa and M.S. in Biology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, studied the emergence and dissemination of blacmy-2 in Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium and Newport. Dissertation title (May 2005):  “Molecular analysis of ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica.” She was a post-doctoral fellow at NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT under the mentorship of Dr. Ted Hackstadt where she studied Chlamydia pathogenesis. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Chadron State University in Chadron, NE. 

 Dr. Jamison

Luke D. Handke, Ph.D.

Dr. Handke received his B.S. in Biology from Kansas State University.  He studied phenotypic variation in Staphylococcus epidermidis and also identified several transcriptional regulators of icaADBC transcription including SarA and sB.  Dissertation title (October 2005):  “Phenotypic variation of the ica operon in Staphylococcus epidermidis.”  Luke accepted a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Linc Sonenshein at Tufts University in Boston where he studied CodY in Bacillus subtilis.  Dr. Handke is currently a senior scientist with the vaccine research group at Pfizer in Pearl River, NY.

 Dr. Handke

Shawn R. Slater, B.S.

Shawn (pictured left with Dr. Handke) was a technologist in the laboratory for 6 years (2002-2008) and studied biofilm maturation in S. epidermidis and molecular diagnostics of BSL-3 pathogens (Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis).  Shawn currently works for the US government at Dugway Proving Grounds in Dugway, UT. 

 Shawn Slater

Kathie L. Rogers, Ph.D.

Dr. Rogers, who received her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Wayne, NE, studied class III phenotypic variation in S. epidermidis, which is a deletion event, mediated by insertion sequence elements.  Dissertation title (December 2008): “Genetic characterization of class III phenotypic variation in Staphylococcus epidermidis.”  Dr. Rogers, who had 20 years of experience in clinical microbiology before earning her Ph.D., is director of clinical microbiology of Iowa Health in Des Moines, Iowa. 

 

 

Michael E. Olson, Ph.D.

Dr. Olson received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  Dr. Olson wrote his dissertation on genes that function to mediate biofilm maturation in S. epidermidis.  His work was the basis for the current investigation on arginine metabolism.  Dissertation title (April 2009): “Biofilm maturation in Staphylococcus epidermidis.”  Dr. Olson is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Horswill at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Michael Olson 

Lauren C. Kinkead, B.S.

Lauren received her B.S. in microbiology from Minnesota State Mankato.  She was an undergraduate summer student and technologist for three years where she investigated the effects of TCA cycle mutations on the activity of bactericidal antibiotics against S. epidermidis.  She is currently studying Francisella tularensis pathogenesis at the University of Iowa with Dr. Lee-Ann Allen. 

 

 

 

Lauren Kinkead

Kendall A. Bryant, Ph.D., D(ABMMI)  

Kendall received his B.S. in Biology (minor in History) from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  Dr. Bryant studied the macromolecular synthesis operon of S. epidermidis and identified the function of genes co-transcribed with helicase and primase.  Dissertation title (December 2008):  “Characterization of the macromolecular synthesis operon in Staphylococcus epidermidis.”  Dr. Bryant completed a one year fellowship at the Kansas Department of Health and received his clinical microbiology fellowship training (CPEP) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He is currently the director of clinical microbiology at Orlando Health Medical Center in Orlando Florida.

 Kendall Bryant

Keith M. Woods, Ph.D.

Dr. Woods received his B.S. in Biology from Western Washington and his Ph.D. in Immunology from Kansas State University.  Dr. Woods developed a rat model of intravascular catheter related infection to study S. epidermidis pathogenesis.  He is currently working for Advanced Genomic Technologies in Louisville, KY. 

 

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