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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

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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


The Regulator FleQ Post-Transcriptionally Regulates the Production of RTX Adhesins by Pseudomonas fluorescens.
Pastora AB, O'Toole GA
bioRxiv. 2023 May 9; pii: 2023.05.09.540025. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.09.540025. Epub 2023 May 9.
PMID: 37214974

Evidence for the Type IV Pili Retraction Motor PilT as a Component of the Surface Sensing System in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Geiger CJ, O'Toole GA
bioRxiv. 2023 May 2; pii: 2023.05.02.539127. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.02.539127. Epub 2023 May 2.
PMID: 37205505

Persistent delay in maturation of the developing gut microbiota in infants with cystic fibrosis.
Salerno P, Verster A, Valls R, Barrack K, Price C, Madan J, O'Toole GA, Ross BD
bioRxiv. 2023 May 2; pii: 2023.05.02.539134. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.02.539134. Epub 2023 May 2.
PMID: 37205374

How individual P. aeruginosa cells with diverse stator distributions collectively form a heterogeneous macroscopic swarming population.
de Anda J, Kuchma SL, Webster SS, Boromand A, Lewis KA, Lee CK, Contreras M, Pereira VFM, Hogan DA, O'Hern CS, O'Toole GA, Wong GCL
bioRxiv. 2023 Apr 10; pii: 2023.04.10.536285. doi: 10.1101/2023.04.10.536285. Epub 2023 Apr 10.
PMID: 37090636

A New Pathway to Publication at the Journal of Bacteriology.
O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2023 Mar 21;205(3):e0006923. doi: 10.1128/jb.00069-23. Epub 2023 Mar 21.
PMID: 36943028

Porous marine snow differentially benefits chemotactic, motile, and nonmotile bacteria.
Borer B, Zhang IH, Baker AE, O'Toole GA, Babbin AR
PNAS Nexus. 2023 Feb;2(2):pgac311. doi: 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac311. Epub 2022 Dec 26.
PMID: 36845354

The History of Microbial Model Systems.
O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2023 Feb 22;205(2):e0003023. doi: 10.1128/jb.00030-23. Epub 2023 Feb 1.
PMID: 36722958

2022 Jack Kenney Award for Outstanding Service.
O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2023 Jan 26;205(1):e0041022. doi: 10.1128/jb.00410-22. Epub 2023 Jan 26.
PMID: 36700662

Community composition shapes microbial-specific phenotypes in a cystic fibrosis polymicrobial model system.
Jean-Pierre F, Hampton TH, Schultz D, Hogan DA, Groleau MC, Deziel E, O'Toole GA
Elife. 2023 Jan 20;12 doi: 10.7554/eLife.81604. Epub 2023 Jan 20.
PMID: 36661299

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

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