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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


Bacterial Signatures of Paediatric Respiratory Disease: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis.
Broderick DTJ, Waite DW, Marsh RL, Camargo CA Jr, Cardenas P, Chang AB, Cookson WOC, Cuthbertson L, Dai W, Everard ML, Gervaix A, Harris JK, Hasegawa K, Hoffman LR, Hong SJ, Josset L, Kelly MS, Kim BS, Kong Y, Li SC, Mansbach JM, Mejias A, O'Toole GA, Paalanen L, Perez-Losada M, Pettigrew MM, Pichon M, Ramilo O, Ruokolainen L, Sakwinska O, Seed PC, van der Gast CJ, Wagner BD, Yi H, Zemanick ET, Zheng Y, Pillarisetti N, Taylor MW
Front Microbiol. 2021;12:711134. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.711134. Epub 2021 Dec 23.
PMID: 35002989

The Diguanylate Cyclase YfiN of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Regulates Biofilm Maintenance in Response to Peroxide.
Katharios-Lanwermeyer S, Koval SA, Barrack KE, O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2021 Oct 25;:JB0039621. doi: 10.1128/JB.00396-21. Epub 2021 Oct 25.
PMID: 34694901

Model Systems to Study the Chronic, Polymicrobial Infections in Cystic Fibrosis: Current Approaches and Exploring Future Directions.
O'Toole GA, Crabbe A, Kummerli R, LiPuma JJ, Bomberger JM, Davies JC, Limoli D, Phelan VV, Bliska JB, DePas WH, Dietrich LE, Hampton TH, Hunter R, Khursigara CM, Price-Whelan A, Ashare A, Cramer RA, Goldberg JB, Harrison F, Hogan DA, Henson MA, Madden DR, Mayers JR, Nadell C, Newman D, Prince A, Rivett DW, Schwartzman JD, Schultz D, Sheppard DC, Smyth AR, Spero MA, Stanton BA, Turner PE, van der Gast C, Whelan FJ, Whitaker R, Whiteson K
mBio. 2021 Oct 26;12(5):e0176321. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01763-21. Epub 2021 Sep 21.
PMID: 34544277

Differential Surface Competition and Biofilm Invasion Strategies of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 and PAO1.
Kasetty S, Katharios-Lanwermeyer S, O'Toole GA, Nadell CD
J Bacteriol. 2021 Oct 25;203(22):e0026521. doi: 10.1128/JB.00265-21. Epub 2021 Sep 13.
PMID: 34516283

Design and Development of a Model to Study the Effect of Supplemental Oxygen on the Cystic Fibrosis Airway Microbiome.
Vieira J, Gallagher T, Sui HY, Jesudasen S, Whiteson K, O'Toole GA, Hanselmann K, Lai PS
J Vis Exp. 2021 Aug 3;(174) doi: 10.3791/62888. Epub 2021 Aug 3.
PMID: 34424248

Temporary In Situ Hydrogel Dressings for Colon Polypectomies.
Cook K, Naguib N, Price CE, Katharios S, Kirsch J, Cortes K, Hohl K, O'Toole GA, Grinstaff MW
ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2021 Sep 13;7(9):4362-4370. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00549. Epub 2021 Aug 3.
PMID: 34342427

The Gut-Lung Axis in Cystic Fibrosis.
Price CE, O'Toole GA
J Bacteriol. 2021 Sep 23;203(20):e0031121. doi: 10.1128/JB.00311-21. Epub 2021 Aug 2.
PMID: 34339302

Architecture of cell-cell junctions in situ reveals a mechanism for bacterial biofilm inhibition.
Melia CE, Bolla JR, Katharios-Lanwermeyer S, Mihaylov DB, Hoffmann PC, Huo J, Wozny MR, Elfari LM, Bohning J, Morgan AN, Hitchman CJ, Owens RJ, Robinson CV, O'Toole GA, Bharat TAM
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Aug 3;118(31) pii: e2109940118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2109940118.
PMID: 34321357

Biochemical and structural characterization of two cif-like epoxide hydrolases from Burkholderia cenocepacia.
Taher NM, Hvorecny KL, Burke CM, Gilman MSA, Heussler GE, Adolf-Bryfogle J, Bahl CD, O'Toole GA, Madden DR
Curr Res Struct Biol. 2021;3:72-84. doi: 10.1016/j.crstbi.2021.02.002. Epub 2021 Feb 21.
PMID: 34235487

Mild Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease Is Associated with Bacterial Community Stability.
Hampton TH, Thomas D, van der Gast C, O'Toole GA, Stanton BA
Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Sep 3;9(1):e0002921. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.00029-21. Epub 2021 Jul 7.
PMID: 34232099

View more publications on PubMed