Office: 121 Harned Hall
B.S. Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Statement of Research Interests
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading cause of acute otitis media and community acquired pneumonia worldwide. However, far more commonly it is carried asymptomatically in the nasopharynx of healthy humans. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that allow this bacterium to switch from harmless commensal to invasive pathogen is essential to the development of new prevention and treatment strategies. My laboratory focuses on both sides of the host-pathogen interaction by characterizing how the innate immune response functions to prevent these types of infections and also how virulence mechanisms of S. pneumoniae enable it to cause disease. The overall goal of our research is to identify new targets for intervention which will help to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this pathogen.
Moon B.Y., Park J.Y., Park Y.H., Thornton J.A., Seo K.S. Genetic Engineering of a Temperature Phage-based Delivery System for Efficacious CRISPR/Cas9 Antimicrobials Against Staphylococcus aureus. Sci. Rep. Mar 21; 7:44929
Krishnavajhala A., Wilder H.K., Boyle W.K., Damania A., Thornton J.A., Perez de Leon A.A., Teel P.D., Lopez J.E. Imaging Borrelia turicatae Producing Green Fluorescent Protein Reveals Colonization of Ornithodorus duricata midgut and Salivary Glands from Nymphal Acquisition through Transmission. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Dec 16. pii: AEM.02503-16.
Bryant J.R., Dabbs R.C., Oswalt K.L., Brown L.R., Rosch J.W., Seo K.S., Donaldson J.R., McDaniel L.S., Thornton J.A. Pyruvate Oxidase of Streptococcus pneumoniae Contributes to Pneumolysin Release. BMC Microbiol. 2016 Nov 9;16(1):271.
Rai A.N., Thornton J.A., Stokes J., Sunesara I., Swiatlo E., Nanduri B. Polyamine Transporter in Streptococcus pneumoniae is Essential for Evading Early Innate Immune Responses in Pneumococcal Pneumonia.
Moon B.Y., Park J.Y., Robinson D.A., Thomas J.C., Park Y.H., Thornton J.A., Seo K.S. Mobilization of Genomic Islands of Staphylococcus aureus by Temperate Bacteriophage. PLoS One. 2016. Mar 8;11(3):e0151409.