Paul Dunman, Ph.D.

Paul Dunman, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 672
Rochester, NY 14642

Lab Information

Characterizing the S. aureus factors that influence Staphylococcus aureus' ability to cause disease, as well as define the regulatory mechanism(s) that modulate the expression of these genes.

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Research Bio

Dunman Laboratory Research Overview:

Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that is reported to cause more U.S. deaths annually than HIV. Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative pathogen that is emerging as a predominant cause of infections within military personnel injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom and has recently caused deadly outbreaks in the U.S., South America, and Europe. In addition to causing high incidences of morbidity and mortality, both organisms have also developed resistance to all currently available antibiotics, further amplifying public health concern and accentuating the need for new antibiotics for the treatment of S. aureus and A. baumannii infections.

Our laboratory uses S. aureus and A. baumannii as model organisms to study bacterial pathogenesis and develop novel strategies for the therapeutic intervention of bacterial infections. That work has revealed that most bacterial virulence factors are post-transcriptionally regulated in a manner that involves the modulation of their mRNA turnover. Current laboratory projects are geared toward characterizing the molecular components that govern 'native' and temporal changes in mRNA degradation. These factors can be broadly categorized as either: small non-coding RNAs, ribonucleases, or RNA binding proteins. We have purified and exploited several of these factors as targets for antimicrobial drug discovery.

Relevant Recent Publications:

1. Small molecule inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus RnpA alter cellular mRNA turnover, exhibit antimicrobial activity, and attenuate pathogenesis. Olson PD, Kuechenmeister LJ, Anderson KL, Daily S, Beenken KE, Roux CM, Reniere ML, Lewis TL, Weiss WJ, Pulse M, Nguyen P, Simecka JW, Morrison JM, Sayood K, Asojo OA, Smeltzer MS, Skaar EP, and Dunman PM. PLoS Pathogens 2011 (in press).

2. Characterizing the effects of inorganic acid and alkaline shock on the Staphylococcus aureus transcriptome and messenger RNA turnover. Anderson KL, Roux CM, Olson MW, Luong TT, Lee CY, Olson R, and Dunman PM. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 2010 60(3):208.

3. Staphylococcus aureus nonribosomal peptide secondary metabolites regulate virulence. Wyatt MA, Wang W, Roux CM, Beasley FC, Heinrichs DE, Dunman PM and Magarvey NA. Science 2010 329(5989):294.

4. Inactivation of phospholipase D diminishes Acinetobacter baumannii pathogenesis. Jacobs AC, Hood I, Boyd KL, Olson PD, Morrison JM, Carson S, Sayood K, Iwen PC, Skaar EP, and Dunman PM. Infect Immun 2010 78(5):1952.

Awards & Honors (National)

Young Investigator of the Year | International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherap 2003

Awards & Honors (Local)

Distinguished Investigator | University of Nebraska Medical Center 2010
Joseph P. Gilmore Outstanding Investigator Award | University of Nebraska Medical Center 2009
Most Promising New Invention Notification | University of Nebraska Medical Center 2009

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 79 available »

2015 Apr
Eidem TM, Lounsbury N, Emery JF, Bulger J, Smith A, Abou-Gharbia M, Childers W, Dunman PM. "Small-molecule inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus RnpA-mediated RNA turnover and tRNA processing." Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2015 Apr; 59(4):2016-28. Epub 2015 Jan 20.
2015 Apr
Mootz JM, Benson MA, Heim CE, Crosby HA, Kavanaugh JS, Dunman PM, Kielian T, Torres VJ, Horswill AR. "Rot is a key regulator of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation." Molecular microbiology. 2015 Apr; 96(2):388-404. Epub 2015 Feb 26.
Forbes L, Ebsworth-Mojica K, DiDone L, Li SG, Freundlich JS, Connell N, Dunman PM, Krysan DJ. "A High Throughput Screening Assay for Anti-Mycobacterial Small Molecules Based on Adenylate Kinase Release as a Reporter of Cell Lysis." PloS one. 2015 10(6):e0129234. Epub 2015 Jun 22.
Colquhoun JM, Wozniak RA, Dunman PM. "Clinically Relevant Growth Conditions Alter Acinetobacter baumannii Antibiotic Susceptibility and Promote Identification of Novel Antibacterial Agents." PloS one. 2015 10(11):e0143033. Epub 2015 Nov 11.
Wilde AD, Snyder DJ, Putnam NE, Valentino MD, Hammer ND, Lonergan ZR, Hinger SA, Aysanoa EE, Blanchard C, Dunman PM, Wasserman GA, Chen J, Shopsin B, Gilmore MS, Skaar EP, Cassat JE. "Bacterial Hypoxic Responses Revealed as Critical Determinants of the Host-Pathogen Outcome by TnSeq Analysis of Staphylococcus aureus Invasive Infection." PLoS pathogens. 2015 11(12):e1005341. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Current Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Microbiology and Immunology (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Microbiology | Univ of Medicine and Dentistry-NJ (UMDNJ)1999
BS | Arts & Sciences | Delaware Valley College1992

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Wyeth Research; Post-Doctoral Fellow (Infectious Disease) 2001