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Martin Pavelka, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Fax: (585) 473-9573

Office: (585) 275-4670

Biography

Research

1. Research Projects in Progress My research expertise is in the genetics, physiology, and biochemistry of the cell envelopes of bacterial respiratory pathogens, with a special focus on the cell wall peptidoglycan. Tuberculosis Research 1. Biosynthesis of the mycobacterial cell wall. Our current research activities focus on understanding the genetics and biochemistry of cell envelope biosynthesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and related mycobacteria with the goal of identifying new targets that can be translated into the development of novel anti-tuberculosis drugs. Our studies focus on four aspects of the peptidoglycan of mycobacteria: 1) identifying the enzymes responsible for DAP-DAP cross links in the cell wall and their importance for cell survival under non-replicating conditions, 2) understanding the role of carbohydrate hydroxylation and amino acid amidation on peptidoglycan physiology, 3) understanding the function of unusual L,D-transpeptidase enzymes that may modify the cell wall, and 4) understanding the factors that contribute to antibiotic resistance in M. tuberculosis. These research activities include collaborations with Dr. Dean Crick and Dr. Sebabrata Mahapatra (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO). 2. We are also collaborating with Dr. Scott Butler in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology here at the UR to investigate the function of toxin-antitoxin genes in M. tuberculosis and their potential role in latency in tuberculosis. Tularemia and Biodefense Research 1. Development of genetic tools for Francisella tularensis and investigations into tularemia pathogenesis. Our early work on Francisella was to develop genetic methods to manipulate Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia and a Category A Select Agent. This work focused on developing new plasmid vectors, selectable markers, a method of allelic exchange and transposon mutagenesis, single-copy chromosomal integration systems, and protein secretion reporter systems. Future plans include the development of projects to investigate Francisella cell wall physiology and the roles that cell envelope components have in the innate immune response and tularemia pathogenesis.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Education

1988
BS | Cleveland St University
Biology

1994
PhD | Univ Rochester Sch Med/Dent
Microbiology

1991
MS | Univ Rochester Sch Med/Dent
Microbiology

Awards

2006 - 2006
Awardee, URMC Excellence in Research

1997
Recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences

1990 - 1993
Public Heath Service NIH Predoctoral Trainee

1988
Graduated magna cum laude - Cleveland State University

1988
Doretta C. Thelker Award, Cleveland State University

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Publications

Journal Articles

5/2016
Martinelli DJ, Pavelka MS. "The RipA and RipB Peptidoglycan Endopeptidases Are Individually Nonessential to Mycobacterium smegmatis." Journal of bacteriology.. 2016 May 0; 198(9):1464-75. Epub 2016 Apr 14.

11/2015
Pavelka MS. "One of these is not like the others." Trends in microbiology.. 2015 Nov 0; 23(11):668-70. Epub 2015 Oct 01.

8/1/2015
Boule LA, Winans B, Lambert K, Vorderstrasse BA, Topham DJ, Pavelka MS, Lawrence BP. "Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor during development enhances the pulmonary CD4+ T-cell response to viral infection." American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology.. 2015 Aug 1; 309(3):L305-13. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

Books & Chapters

2014
Chapter Title: Genetics of Peptidoglycan synthesis
Book Title: Molecular Genetics of Mycobacteria
Author List: M. S. Pavelka, Jr. S. Mahapatra D. C. Crick
Published By: ASM Press2014

2008
Chapter Title: Allelic exchange of unmarked mutations in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Book Title: Chromosomal Mutagenesis. Humana Press.
Author List: Pavelka, M. S., Jr.
Published By: In G. Davis and K. Kayser (ed.),2008

2000
Chapter Title: Genetics of mycobacterial metabolism.
Book Title: Molecular Genetics of the mycobacteria.
Author List: Pavelka, M. S., Jr.
Edited By: In G. Hatfull and W. R. Jacobs (ed.),
Published By: ASM Press.2000

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