Dr. O’Toole is the Elmer R. Pfefferkorn, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Dr. Jorge Escalante-Semerena and performed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School as a Damon-Runyon and a Hood Fellow with Dr. Roberto Kolter. Dr. O’Toole has worked in bacterial systems for ~30 years, published extensively in the area of bacterial biofilm formation, dissecting the cAMP/c-di-GMP signaling network that regulate biofilm formation and discovering bacterial surface-sensing pathways. His laboratory also studies microbial interactions and their impacts on antibiotic tolerance in the context of polymicrobial biofilm communities in the airway and gut, and how dysbiosis in gut microbiota in infants/children with cystic fibrosis impacts local/systemic inflammation, as well as health outcomes in this population. His work has been highlighted in three different textbooks.
His honors include the NSF Career Award, Dupont Young Investigator Award and Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, an NIH MERIT award, election as a fellow of AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology and serving as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Bacteriology.
Dr. Claudia Muratori completed virology and cell biology training followed by a Ph.D. in human biology and genetics at the University of Rome La Sapienza. Her postdoctoral research focused on cancer cell signaling and treatment using pulsed electric fields. Currently, she is an assistant professor at the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics and in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia (USA).
She is the author of 28 peer-reviewed publications and a member of the council of the International Society for Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments (ISEBTT). Her research focuses on understanding the biological responses initiated by short intense electric pulses, which include: the opening of stable pores in the cell membrane and internal cell structures; phospholipid scrambling; alteration of cell metabolism and function; initiation of diverse cell death pathways; and regulated release of danger signals. These basic research studies have broad relevance to human health topics with prospective applications in cancer and antimicrobial treatment.