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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

>O'Toole Lab:
>Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis Program:
>Dept of Microbiology & Immunology:
>Molecular Cellular Biology Grad Program:

Contact Information

Geisel School of Medicine
Remsen Building, Rm 202 - HB 7550
Hanover NH 03755

Office: 202 Remsen
Phone: 603-650-1248
Email: georgeo@Dartmouth.Edu

Professional Interests

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.

Selected Publications


Povidone-Iodine Fails to Eradicate Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media and Demonstrates Ototoxic Risk in Mice.
Kaufman AC, Bacacao BS, Berkay B, Sharma D, Mishra A, O'Toole GA, Saunders JE, Xia A, Bekale LA, Santa Maria PL
Otol Neurotol. 2022 Dec 1;43(10):e1121-e1128. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000003726. Epub 2022 Oct 14.
PMID: 36240734

Surface-Induced cAMP Signaling Requires Multiple Features of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type IV Pili.
Kuchma SL, O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2022 Oct 18;204(10):e0018622. doi: 10.1128/jb.00186-22. Epub 2022 Sep 8.
PMID: 36073942

Supplemental Oxygen Alters the Airway Microbiome in Cystic Fibrosis.
Vieira J, Jesudasen S, Bringhurst L, Sui HY, McIver L, Whiteson K, Hanselmann K, O'Toole GA, Richards CJ, Sicilian L, Neuringer I, Lai PS
mSystems. 2022 Oct 26;7(5):e0036422. doi: 10.1128/msystems.00364-22. Epub 2022 Aug 24.
PMID: 36000724

The Power of Touch: Type 4 Pili, the von Willebrand A Domain, and Surface Sensing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Webster SS, Wong GCL, O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2022 Jun 21;204(6):e0008422. doi: 10.1128/jb.00084-22. Epub 2022 May 25.
PMID: 35612303

Roberto Kolter and Many Images of Microbiology.
O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2022 Jun 21;204(6):e0015322. doi: 10.1128/jb.00153-22. Epub 2022 May 18.
PMID: 35583338

Nonmotile Subpopulations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Repress Flagellar Motility in Motile Cells through a Type IV Pilus- and Pel-Dependent Mechanism.
Lewis KA, Vermilyea DM, Webster SS, Geiger CJ, de Anda J, Wong GCL, O'Toole GA, Hogan DA
J Bacteriol. 2022 May 17;204(5):e0052821. doi: 10.1128/jb.00528-21. Epub 2022 Apr 4.
PMID: 35377166

Biofilm Maintenance as an Active Process: Evidence that Biofilms Work Hard to Stay Put.
Katharios-Lanwermeyer S, O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2022 Apr 19;204(4):e0058721. doi: 10.1128/jb.00587-21. Epub 2022 Mar 21.
PMID: 35311557

Rapid expansion and extinction of antibiotic resistance mutations during treatment of acute bacterial respiratory infections.
Chung H, Merakou C, Schaefers MM, Flett KB, Martini S, Lu R, Blumenthal JA, Webster SS, Cross AR, Al Ahmar R, Halpin E, Anderson M, Moore NS, Snesrud EC, Yu HD, Goldberg JB, O'Toole GA, McGann P, Stam JA, Hinkle M, McAdam AJ, Kishony R, Priebe GP
Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 9;13(1):1231. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28188-w. Epub 2022 Mar 9.
PMID: 35264582

Force-Induced Changes of PilY1 Drive Surface Sensing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Webster SS, Mathelie-Guinlet M, Verissimo AF, Schultz D, Viljoen A, Lee CK, Schmidt WC, Wong GCL, Dufrene YF, O'Toole GA
mBio. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):e0375421. doi: 10.1128/mbio.03754-21. Epub 2022 Feb 1.
PMID: 35100866

Broadcasting of amplitude- and frequency-modulated c-di-GMP signals facilitates cooperative surface commitment in bacterial lineages.
Lee CK, Schmidt WC, Webster SS, Chen JW, O'Toole GA, Wong GCL
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jan 25;119(4) doi: 10.1073/pnas.2112226119.
PMID: 35064082

View more publications on PubMed