Research and Publications


Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to public health and our laboratory is aimed at understanding a variety of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms.  We are also focused on developing new therapeutics to combat drug-resistant bacteria. We are particularly interested in Gram-negative bacteria that thrive in hospitals and other clinical settings.

A few of the projects that we are focused on the laboratory are:

  1. How Gram-negative bacteria chemically modify their cell surface to develop resistance to clinically relevant antimicrobials and biocides.
  2. Understanding the pathways that regulate chemical addition to the bacterial cell surface.
  3. Drug discovery to develop new antimicrobial compounds that can inhibit growth of resistant bacteria.

Selected Publications:

  1. A penicillin-binding protein inhibits selection of colistin-resistant lipooligosaccharide-deficient Acinetobacter baumannii. Boll, J.M., Crofts, A.A., Peters, K., Cattoir, V., Vollmer, W., Davies, B.W., Trent, M.S., (2016) PNAS 113(41) E:6228-E:6237. 

Recommendation on F1000 Prime

2. Power of Asymmetry: Architecture and Assembly of Gram-negative Outer Membrane Lipid Bilayer. Henderson, J.C., Zimmerman, S.M., Crofts, A.A., Boll, J.M., Kuhns, L.G., Herrera, C.M., Trent, M.S., (2016) Annual Review of Microbiology 70:255-278.

3. Outer Membrane Vesicles Displaying Engineered Glycotopes Elicit Protective Antibodies. Chen, L., Valentine, J.L., Huang, C., Endicott, C.E., Rasmussen, J.A., Fletcher, J.R., Boll, J.M., Rosenthal, J.A., Heiss, C., Azadi, P., Putnam, D., Trent, M.S., Jones, B.D., DeLisa, M.P., (2016) PNAS 113(26) E:3609-3618.

4. UVliPiD:  A UVPD-based hierarchical approach for de novo characterization of lipid A structures. Morrison, L.J., Parker, W.R., Holden, D.D., Henderson, J.C., Boll, J.M., Trent, M.S., Brodbelt, J.S., (2016) Analytical Chemistry 88(3):1812-1820.

5. Reinforcing Lipid A Acylation on the Cell Surface of Acinetobacter baumannii Promotes Cationic Antimicrobial Peptide Resistance and Desiccation Survival. Boll, J.M., Tucker, A.T., Klein, D.R., Beltran A.M., Brodbelt J.S., Davies, B.W., Trent M.S., (2015) mBio 6(3):e00478-15.

6. Crystallographic study of the phosphoethanolamine transferase EptC required for polymyxin resistance and motility in Campylobacter jejuni. Fage, C.D., Brown, D.B., Boll, J.M., Keatinge-Clay, A.T., Trent, M.S., (2014) Acta Crystallographica Section D. 70(Pt 10):2730-9.

7. Defining gene-phenotype relationship in Acinetobacter baumannii through one-step chromosomal inactivation. Tucker, A.T., Nowicki, E.M., Boll, J.M., Knauf, G.A., Burdis, N.C., Davies, B.W., (2014) mBio 5(4):e01313-14.

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