George A. O'Toole Jr, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Microbiology and Immunology
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Ph.D., 1994
Cornell University, B.S., 1988
After postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard Medical School, Dr. O'Toole joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology at Dartmouth Medical School in 1999.
Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs
>Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program:
>Dept of Microbiology & Immunology:
>Molecular Cellular Biology Grad Program:
Geisel School of Medicine
Remsen Building, Rm 202 - HB 7550
Hanover NH 03755
Office: 202 Remsen
The main focus of the O'Toole laboratory is the study of complex surface-attached bacterial communities known as biofilms. Biofilms can form on a wide variety of surfaces including catheter lines, surgical implants, contact lenses, the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, industrial and drinking water pipelines, and on the surfaces of plant roots. In most natural, clinical, and industrial settings bacteria live predominantly in biofilms and not as planktonic (free-swimming) cells such as those typically studied in the laboratory. Bacteria growing in biofilm communities are of great interest to the medical community, because these bacteria become highly resistant to antibiotics by an as yet unknown mechanism. Although much has been learned about the types of microbes that can form biofilms, the morphology of these communities, and their chemical/physical properties, until recently little was known about the molecular genetic basis of biofilm formation or antibiotic resistance.
Studies in the O'Toole lab focus on:
>Polymicrobial infections and antibiotic tolerance in cystic fibrosis.
>The role of gut microbiota in airway disease in infants with cystic fibrosis.
>The signal transduction pathways regulating biofilm formation and surface sensing.
>The role of the intracellular signaling molecule c-di-GMP in controlling biofilm formation by Pseudomonads.