George A. O'Toole

Academic Appointments

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Adjunct Professor of Biological Sciences

Work in my lab focuses on the study of surface-attached microbial communities known as biofilms. Key goals of my lab are to understand how single and polymicrobial biofilms form on both living (airway cells) and non-living (medical implant) surfaces. We are also interested in the role of biofilms in host-pathogen interactions and resistance to antibiotic therapy.

Biological Sciences

Selected publications

Sisti F, Ha DG, O'Toole GA, Hozbor D, Fernández J. Cyclic-di-GMP signalling regulates motility and biofilm formation in Bordetella bronchiseptica. Microbiology. 2013 May;159(Pt 5):869-79. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.064345-0. Epub 2013 Mar 8. PubMed PMID: 23475948.

Anderson GG, Kenney TF, Macleod DL, Henig NR, O'Toole GA. Eradication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on cultured airway cells by a fosfomycin/tobramycin antibiotic combination. Pathog Dis. 2013 Feb;67(1):39-45. doi: 10.1111/2049-632X.12015. Epub 2013 Jan 10. PubMed PMID: 23620118.

Madan JC, Salari RC, Saxena D, Davidson L, O'Toole GA, Moore JH, Sogin ML, Foster JA, Edwards WH, Palumbo P, Hibberd PL. Gut microbial colonisation in premature neonates predicts neonatal sepsis. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2012 Nov;97(6):F456-62. doi: 10.1136/fetalneonatal-2011-301373. Epub 2012 May 6. PubMed PMID: 22562869.

Yu Q, Griffin EF, Moreau-Marquis S, Schwartzman JD, Stanton BA, O'Toole GA. In vitro evaluation of tobramycin and aztreonam versus Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on cystic fibrosis-derived human airway epithelial cells. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012 Nov;67(11):2673-81. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks296. Epub 2012 Jul 26. PubMed PMID: 22843834; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3468082.

Cady KC, Bondy-Denomy J, Heussler GE, Davidson AR, O'Toole GA. The CRISPR/Cas adaptive immune system of Pseudomonas aeruginosa mediates resistance to naturally occurring and engineered phages. J Bacteriol. 2012 Nov;194(21):5728-38. doi: 10.1128/JB.01184-12. Epub 2012 Aug 10. PubMed PMID: 22885297; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3486085.

Ivanov IE, Boyd CD, Newell PD, Schwartz ME, Turnbull L, Johnson MS, Whitchurch CB, O'Toole GA, Camesano TA. Atomic force and super-resolution microscopy support a role for LapA as a cell-surface biofilm adhesin of Pseudomonas fluorescens. Res Microbiol. 2012 Nov-Dec;163(9-10):685-91. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2012.10.001. Epub 2012 Oct 9. PubMed PMID: 23064158; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3518552.

Kuchma SL, Griffin EF, O'Toole GA. Minor pilins of the type IV pilus system participate in the negative regulation of swarming motility. J Bacteriol. 2012 Oct;194(19):5388-403. doi: 10.1128/JB.00899-12. Epub 2012 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 22865844; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3457191.

Ballok AE, Bahl CD, Dolben EL, Lindsay AK, St Laurent JD, Hogan DA, Madden DR, O'Toole GA. Epoxide-mediated CifR repression of cif gene expression utilizes two binding sites in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Bacteriol. 2012 Oct;194(19):5315-24. doi: 10.1128/JB.00984-12. Epub 2012 Jul 27. PubMed PMID: 22843844; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3457200.

Hampton TH, Ballok AE, Bomberger JM, Rutkowski MR, Barnaby R, Coutermarsh B, Conejo-Garcia JR, O'Toole GA, Stanton BA. Does the F508-CFTR mutation induce a proinflammatory response in human airway epithelial cells? Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Sep 15;303(6):L509-18. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00226.2011. Epub 2012 Jul 20. PubMed PMID: 22821996; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3468482.

Filkins LM, Hampton TH, Gifford AH, Gross MJ, Hogan DA, Sogin ML, Morrison HG, Paster BJ, O'Toole GA. Prevalence of streptococci and increased polymicrobial diversity associated with cystic fibrosis patient stability. J Bacteriol. 2012 Sep;194(17):4709-17. doi: 10.1128/JB.00566-12. Epub 2012 Jun 29. PubMed PMID: 22753064; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3415522.

Madan JC, Koestler DC, Stanton BA, Davidson L, Moulton LA, Housman ML, Moore JH, Guill MF, Morrison HG, Sogin ML, Hampton TH, Karagas MR, Palumbo PE, Foster JA, Hibberd PL, O'Toole GA. Serial analysis of the gut and respiratory microbiome in cystic fibrosis in infancy: interaction between intestinal and respiratory tracts and impact of nutritional exposures. MBio. 2012 Aug 21;3(4). doi:pii: e00251-12. 10.1128/mBio.00251-12. Print 2012. PubMed PMID: 22911969; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3428694.

Gifford AH, Moulton LA, Dorman DB, Olbina G, Westerman M, Parker HW, Stanton BA, O'Toole GA. Iron homeostasis during cystic fibrosis pulmonary exacerbation. Clin Transl Sci. 2012 Aug;5(4):368-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-8062.2012.00417.x. Epub 2012 Jun 1. PubMed PMID: 22883617; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3419499.

Boyd CD, Chatterjee D, Sondermann H, O'Toole GA. LapG, required for modulating biofilm formation by Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1, is a calcium-dependent protease. J Bacteriol. 2012 Aug;194(16):4406-14. doi: 10.1128/JB.00642-12. Epub 2012 Jun 15. PubMed PMID: 22707708; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3416268.

Chatterjee D, Boyd CD, O'Toole GA, Sondermann H. Structural characterization of a conserved, calcium-dependent periplasmic protease from Legionella pneumophila. J Bacteriol. 2012 Aug;194(16):4415-25. doi: 10.1128/JB.00640-12. Epub 2012 Jun 15. PubMed PMID: 22707706; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3416269.

O'Toole GA, Wathier M, Zegans ME, Shanks RM, Kowalski R, Grinstaff MW. Diphosphonium ionic liquids as broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents. Cornea. 2012 Jul;31(7):810-6. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31823f0a86. PubMed PMID: 22236790; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3336019.

Twomey KB, O'Connell OJ, McCarthy Y, Dow JM, O'Toole GA, Plant BJ, Ryan RP. Bacterial cis-2-unsaturated fatty acids found in the cystic fibrosis airway modulate virulence and persistence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. ISME J. 2012 May;6(5):939-50. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2011.167. Epub 2011 Dec 1. PubMed PMID: 22134647; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3329111.

Mintzer MA, Dane EL, O'Toole GA, Grinstaff MW. Exploiting dendrimer multivalency to combat emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Mol Pharm. 2012 Mar 5;9(3):342-54. doi: 10.1021/mp2005033. Epub 2011 Dec 13. Review. PubMed PMID: 22126461.

Boyd CD, O'Toole GA. Second messenger regulation of biofilm formation: breakthroughs in understanding c-di-GMP effector systems. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2012;28:439-62. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-101011-155705. Review. PubMed PMID: 23057745.

Ha DG, Merritt JH, Hampton TH, Hodgkinson JT, Janecek M, Spring DR, Welch M, O'Toole GA. 2-Heptyl-4-quinolone, a precursor of the Pseudomonas quinolone signal molecule, modulates swarming motility in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Bacteriol. 2011 Dec;193(23):6770-80. doi: 10.1128/JB.05929-11. Epub 2011 Sep 30. PubMed PMID: 21965567; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3232867.

Newell PD, Yoshioka S, Hvorecny KL, Monds RD, O'Toole GA. Systematic analysis of diguanylate cyclases that promote biofilm formation by Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1. J Bacteriol. 2011 Sep;193(18):4685-98. doi: 10.1128/JB.05483-11. Epub 2011 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 21764921; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3165641.

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