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About

Contact Information

P: 864-656-6237
E: kgthoma@clemson.edu

Campus Location

D153 Poole Agricultural Center

Hours

Monday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Profile


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Stephen Dolan

Genetics and Biochemistry

Assistant Professor

Life Sciences Building 260A [Lab]
Life Sciences Building 263 [Research Laboratory Service]

skdolan@clemson.edu
Website
CV

Profile/About Me

I study microbial interactions in human infections, specifically complex communities formed by multiple species, resulting in polymicrobial infections. My current research is focused on understanding the mechanistic basis of polymicrobial interactions between fungi and bacteria during cystic fibrosis (CF) infection. Using clinical isolates, I’m interested in how the physiology of both partners is altered upon co-culture in a recapitulated CF environment, when compared to monoculture. My aim is to leverage my unique cross-kingdom insight to unravel how fungi respond to bacteria (and vice-versa) and other cues found in polymicrobial environments. This approach will be instrumental in developing new therapeutic interventions.

Immediately prior to Clemson, I was a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) postdoctoral fellow hosted in Dr. Marvin Whiteley’s laboratory at Georgia Tech and the Emory-Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Center, Atlanta, GA (2021-2023).

Before moving my research to the US, I was a Herchel Smith research fellow at the University of Cambridge, hosted in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Welch. This role allowed me to apply my comparative ‘omics experience to a key respiratory pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, whilst also providing me with the skills to examine the physiology of multiple organisms in clinically relevant, fungal-bacterial interactions.

I was granted my PhD in 2016 from Maynooth University, Ireland, under the direction of Dr. Sean Doyle. For this work I used comparative ‘omics and reverse genetics to characterize novel regulators of toxin production in the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

Research Interests

My primary research focus is on respiratory infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF), where the abnormal mucus makes them susceptible to various bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens. Instead of studying a single model organism, I intentionally pursued broad training on multiple co-infecting human pathogens (notably Aspergillus and Pseudomonas). This comprehensive approach allows me to unravel the intricate mechanisms of communication between microbes during infection.

Pathogenic microbes pose significant burdens on healthcare and agriculture. Therefore, my research aims to uncover the physiology and behavior of fungi during infections, particularly their interactions with bacteria. By gaining mechanistic insights into these fundamental processes, I contribute to our understanding of microbial pathogenesis and enable the development of innovative strategies to combat these infections.

Research Group (Lab)

Are you interested in being a part of the work described above? Undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research scientists, who share an interest in unraveling the intricacies of microbial physiology during infection are welcome to get in touch.

Selected Publications

1. Dolan, S.K.*, Wijaya, A., Kohlstedt, M., Gläser, L., Brear, P., Silva-Rocha, R., Wittmann, C., Welch, M. (2022) Systems-wide dissection of organic acid assimilation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa reveals a novel path to underground metabolism. mBio. Doi: 10.1128/mbio.02541-22

2. Dolan S.K., Kohlstedt, M., Trigg, M., Vallejo Ramirez, P., Kaminski, P.F., Wittmann, C., Welch, M., (2020) Contextual flexibility in Pseudomonas aeruginosa central carbon metabolism during growth in single carbon sources. mBio. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02684-19

3. Dolan S.K, Pereira. G.P., Silva-Rocha, R. and Welch, M. (2020) Transcriptional regulation of central carbon metabolism in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Microbial Biotechnology. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.13423

4. Dolan S.K., Bock, T., Hering, V., Jones, G.W, Blankenfeldt W., Doyle S. (2017) Structural, mechanistic and functional insight into gliotoxin bis-thiomethylation in Aspergillus fumigatus. Open Biology. doi: 10.1098/rsob.160292

5. Dolan, S.K., Owens, R.A., O’Keeffe, G., Hammel, S., Fitzpatrick, D.A, Jones, G.W., and Doyle, S. (2014) Regulation of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthesis: bis-Thiomethylation Attenuates Gliotoxin Biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus. Chemistry and Biology (Cell Chemical Biology). 21, 999–1012. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.07.006.

Links

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Contact Information

P: 864-656-6237
E: kgthoma@clemson.edu

Campus Location

D153 Poole Agricultural Center

Hours

Monday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.