Microbiology Faculty Mentors

Unique Departmental Research Programs

Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree Program
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College have a cooperative program funded by the National Institutes of Health entitled the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree program. This program, initiated in 1996, seeks to involve Native American students from the community college in biomedical research projects. The program is coordinated by Dr. Marc Rott of the Department of Microbiology. Faculty from the departments of Microbiology, Biology, Chemistry and Ethnic and Racial Studies are also actively involved in the program. Current research projects involve investigating the chemical and biological basis of therapy with medicinal plants used by the Ojibwa people. For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/ or e-mail: rott.marc@uwlax.edu .

Clinical and Infectious Disease Microbiology
Numerous faculty and adjunct faculty in the Department of Microbiology are involved in research related to infectious disease and human and animal health. Students may participate in research projects involving various bacterial, fungal, or viral pathogens, antibiotic resistance in bacteria, vaccine development, and development of immunologic tests. At the graduate level, students may enter the Master of Science in Biology/Clinical Microbiology Program. This unique masters degree program is a collaborative program between UW-La Crosse, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Clinic, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Students in the program take advanced course work and participate in on-site clinical rotations at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Clinic/St. Joseph's Hospital, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Students are required to conduct a research project and may choose either a laboratory research project or a literature-based project. Research projects may be conducted at UW-La Crosse, or at research laboratories at the clinical partners. For additional information see:
http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/ or http://www.uwlax.edu/clinmicro/ .

Microbial Biogeochemistry in Antarctic Lakes
Dr. Bonnie Bratina is involved in a collaborated Antarctic research project with Dr. William Green of Miami University of Ohio. The project, "Microbial Mediation of Trace Metal Cycling in Four Stratified Antarctic Lakes" is funded by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs. This unique project provides students with opportunities to travel to Antarctica in December and January for field work on lakes in the Dry Valleys. Upon returning to UW-La Crosse, students are involved in analysis of samples and characterization of bacteria collected during the field sampling. For additional information see:
http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/bonniejo.htm or e-mail bratina.boni@uwlax.edu .

Microbiology Faculty Mentors

Bonnie Bo Bratina
Associate Professor of Microbiology
My research interest is in microbial ecology. The first of the two current projects concerns microorganisms involved in the cycling of manganese in lakes in the Dry Valleys in Antarctica. The second project is determining the abundance and diversity of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in the Upper Mississippi River. For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/bonniejo.htm . or e-mail bratina.boni@uwlax.edu .

Michael A. Hoffman
Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Research in my laboratory focuses on the replication and gene expression of human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3), a common cause of lower respiratory tract infections such as croup, pneumonia and bronchiolitus. To carry out the investigation of the HPIV3 life cycle, students use a variety of techniques from microbiology and molecular biology. Knowledge gained from this research can be applied to the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs against HPIV3. For additional information see http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/hoffman.htm or e-mail hoffman.mic2@uwlax.edu .

S. N. Rajagopal
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Several research projects are available in the areas of food and fermentation microbiology including detection of pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria in foods, therapeutic effects of lactic acid bacteria, and bacteriocin production. For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/raj.htm or e-mail rajagopa.s@uwlax.edu

Marc A. Rott
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Several research projects are available in the areas of bacterial genetics and molecular biology including cloning, isolation and characterization of bacterial mutants affected in alcohol metabolism and mapping the genomes of bacteria. For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/marc.htm or e-mail rott.marc@uwlax.edu .

William R. Schwan
Associate Professor of Microbiology
My research involves examining the role of proline transport in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus and the regulation of type 1 pilus expression in uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli. For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/bill.htm or e-mail schwan.will@uwlax.edu .

Bernadette C. Taylor
Associate Professor of Immunology
My research is in the area of veterinary immunology. Current projects include study of bovine mammary gland lymphocyte function and development of immunologic tests for the sea otter (a threatened species in California). For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/taylor.htm or e-mail taylor.bern@uwlax.edu.

Michael R. Winfrey
Professor and Chair of Microbiology
My research interests involve the biogeochemical cycling of mercury by bacteria, molecular microbial ecology, and microbial diversity. Current projects involve examining expression of mercury resistance genes (mer) in natural environments, characterization of novel mer operons, and potential use of mercury resistant bacteria in bioremediation. immunologic tests for the sea otter (a threatened species in California). For additional information see: http://www.uwlax.edu/microbiology/winfrey.htm or e-mail winfrey.mich@uwlax.edu .