Research and Publications


Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to public health. The Boll laboratory is focused on understanding a variety of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms.  We also aim to develop new therapeutics to combat multidrug 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 the cell surface to develop resistance to clinically relevant antimicrobials.
  2. Understanding the signaling pathways that regulate chemical addition to the bacterial cell surface.
  3. Drug discovery to develop compounds to combat drug resistant bacteria.



PBP1A directly interacts with the divisome complex to promote septal peptidoglycan synthesis in Acinetobacter baumannii. Kang, K.N., Boll, J.M., (2022)  J Bacteriol, e0023922. preprint in bioRxiv

Peptidoglycan recycling promotes outer membrane integrity and carbapenem tolerance in Acinetobacter baumannii. Islam. N., Kang, K.N., Kazi, M.I., Biboy, J., Gray, J., Ahmed, F., Schargel, R.D., Boutte, C.C., Dörr, T., Vollmer, W., Boll, J.M., (2022) mBio, 13(3):e0100122.  preprint in bioRxiv

High-level carbapenem tolerance requires antibiotic-induced outer membrane modifications. Murtha, A.N., Kazi M.I., Schargel, R.D., Cross, T., Fihn, C., Carlson, E.E., Boll, J.M., Dörr, T., (2022) PLoS Pathogens. 18(2)e1010307. preprint in bioRxiv

In Mycobacterium abcessus, the stringent factor Rel regulates metabolism, but is not the only (p)ppGpp synthase.Hunt-Serracín, A.C., Kazi, M.K., Boll, J.M., Boutte, C.C., (2022) J. Bacteriol. Dec 13:JB0043421. preprint in bioRxiv


A nematode-derived, mitochondrial stress signaling-regulated peptide exhibits broad antibacterial activity. Sapkota, M., Qureshi, M.A.,Mahmud, S.A., Balikosa, Y., Nguyen, C., Boll, J.M., Pellegrino, M.W., (2021) Biology Open. 10(5):bio058613.

Septal class A penicillin-binding protein activity and LD-transpeptidases mediate selection of colistin resistant lipooligosaccharide-deficient Acinetobacter baumannii. Kang, K.N., Kazi, M.I., Biboy, J., Gray, J., Bovermann, H., Ausman, J., Boutte, C.C., Vollmer, W., Boll, J.M., (2021). mBio. 12(1):e02185-20. 


Discovery and characterization of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 inhibitor peptides that potentiate meropenem-dependent killing of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Kazi, M.K., Perry, B.W., Card, D.C., Schargel, R.D., Ali, H.B., Obuekwe, V.C., Sapkota, M., Kang, K.N., Pellegrino, M.W., Greenberg, D.E., Castoe, T.A., Boll, J.M., (2020) J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 75(10):2843-2851.

Generating Transposon Insertion Libraries in Gram-negative bacteria for high-throughput sequencing. Kazi, M.K., Schargel, R.D., Boll, J.M., (2020). J. Vis. Exp. (161) 


Biofilm-associated Mycobacterium abscessus cells have altered antibiotic tolerance and surface glycolipids in Artificial Cystic Fibrosis Sputum Media. Hunt, A.C., Parks, B.J., Boll, J.M., Boutte, C.C., (2019) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 63(7):e02488-18.

Colistin heteroresistance in Enterobacter cloacae is mediated by PhoPQ-dependent 4-amino-4-deoxy-L-arabinose addition to lipid A. Kang, K.N., Klein D.R., Kazi, M.I., Guerin, F., Cattoir, V., Brodbelt, J.S., Boll, J.M., (2019) Mol. Microbiol. 111(6):1604-1616. preprint in bioRxiv

Prior to 2019

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) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 113(41) E:6228-E:6237. Recommendation on F1000 Prime

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) Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 70:255-278.

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) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 113(26) E:3609-3618.

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) Anal. Chem. 88(3):1812-1820.

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.

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. Crystall. Sec. D. 70(Pt 10):2730-9.

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

A regulatory checkpoint during flagellar biogenesis in Campylobacter jejuni initiates signal transduction to activate transcription of flagellar genes. Boll, J.M. and Hendrixson, D.R., (2013) mBio. 4(5):e00432-13.

A specificity determinant for phosphorylation of a response regulator prevents in vivo cross-talk and modification by acetyl phosphate. Boll, J.M. and Hendrixson, D.R., (2011) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 108(50):20160-5. 

Click Here for a full list of peer-reviewed publications in PubMed.

Patents                                                                                                                                      Combinatorial platform for the display of surface adjuvants and antigens. Boll, J.M. and Trent, M.S., (2019) Patent number WO2015179270 A3