Laura A. Silo-Suh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor for Microbiology
Macon Campus

Previous Institution: Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison  

Office phone:  478-301-5128
Location:  Mercer University School of Medicine, 1550 College Street, Macon, GA  31207

Current Research

We are interested in understanding how P. aeruginosa survives the hostile environment of the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung to cause disease. Cystic Fibrosis patients typically acquire P. aeruginosa lung infections early in life and carry these infections until their death. Within the CF lung and over time, P. aeruginosa acquires multiple phenotypic and genotypic alterations. Some of these alterations occur in basic metabolic functions as well as loss of virulence determinants.

Current research projects are aimed at identifying the mechanism(s) that promote alterations in P. aeruginosa within the CF lung, the nature of the alterations at the molecular level and the effect these alterations have on the physiology and behavior of the bacterium. A comprehensive analysis of the alterations acquired by P. aeruginosa as it adapts to the CF lung during chronic infection may help to develop therapeutic strategies for treating these infections. Overall, our laboratory takes an integrative approach to answer complex questions about bacterial survival and adaptation to changing and hostile environments.

Recent Publications

  • Hagins, J.M., Scoffield, J.A., Suh, S-J. and Silo-Suh, L.A. 2011. Malate synthase expression is deregulated in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis isolate FRD1. Can J Microbiol. 57:186-1956.
  • Hagins, JM, Scoffield, JA, Suh, SJ and Silo-Suh, L.  2010 Influence of RpoN on isocitrate lyase activity in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Microbiology. 156:1201-1210.
  • Hagins, JM, Locy, RD., Silo-Suh, L.  2009. Isocitrate lyase supplies precursors for hydrogen cyanide production in a cystic fibrosis isolate of  Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  J. Bacteriol. 191:6335-6339.
  • Lindsey, T.L., Hagins, J.M., Sokol, P.A. and L.A. Silo-Suh. 2008. Virulence determinants from a cystic fibrosis isolate of Pseudomonas aeruginosa include isocitrate lyase. Microbiology. 154:1616-1627.
  • Silo-Suh, L., S. Suh,, P.V. Phibbs and D.E. Ohman. 2005. Adaptations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the cystic fibrosis lung environment can include deregulation of zwf encoding glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. J. Bact. 187:7561-7568.
  • Suh, S.-J., L. Silo-Suh and D. E. Ohman. 2004. Development of tools for the genetic manipulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J of Microbiol. Methods. 58:203-212.  
  • Bernier, S.P., Silo-Suh, L, Woods, D.E., Ohman, D.E., and P.A. Sokol. 2003. Comparative analysis of plant and animal models for characterization of Burkholderia cepacia virulence. Infect. Immunity. 71:5306-5313.  
  • Silo-Suh, L., S. Suh, P.A. Sokol,  and D.E. Ohman. 2002.  A simple alfalfa seedling infection model for Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains associated with cystic fibrosis shows AlgT (Sigma-22) and RhlR contribute to pathogenesis. PNAS 99:15699-15704.