Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

Skaar, Eric Patrick, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director Microbial Path Program
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Ernest W. Goodpasture Chair in Pathology

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Phone Number: 615-343-0002

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Skaar, Eric's picture
Academic history
Ph.D., Northwestern University
M.P.H., Northwestern University
B.S., University of Wisconsin

Office Address   Mailing Address

MCN A-5102

A-5102 MCN 2363

Research Specialty
The pathogenesis of bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (Staph infections), Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax), and Acinetobacter baumannii (soft tissue infections).

Research Description
In order for bacterial pathogens to cause disease, they must obtain nutrients inside their vertebrate hosts. The primary nutrients that are limiting to the growth of bacteria inside vertebrates are metals. This is due to the fact that vertebrates have developed numerous metal chelation systems that serve as a host defense against microbial infection. This process is called nutritional immunity. My laboratory is interested in identifying the host and bacterial factors that are involved in this battle for metal during the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. We use techniques from biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and chemistry to answer fundamental questions pertaining to the host-pathogen interaction. In particular, we focus on diseases caused by the important human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus (Staph infections), Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax), and Acinetobacter baumannii (leading cause of hospital infections and battlefield wound infections). The long term goal of our research is to develop novel therapies to treat microbial diseases.

Attia, AS, Schroeder, KA, Seeley, EH, Wilson, KJ, Hammer, ND, Colvin, DC, Manier, ML, Nicklay, JJ, Rose, KL, Gore, JC, Caprioli, RM, Skaar, EP. Monitoring the inflammatory response to infection through the integration of MALDI IMS and MRI. Cell Host Microbe, 11(6), 664-73, 2012

Damo, S, Chazin, WJ, Skaar, EP, Kehl-Fie, TE. Inhibition of bacterial superoxide defense: A new front in the struggle between host and pathogen. Virulence, 3(3), 2012

Hood, MI, Skaar, EP. Nutritional immunity: transition metals at the pathogen-host interface. Nat Rev Microbiol, 10(8), 525-37, 2012

Liu, JZ, Jellbauer, S, Poe, AJ, Ton, V, Pesciaroli, M, Kehl-Fie, TE, Restrepo, NA, Hosking, MP, Edwards, RA, Battistoni, A, Pasquali, P, Lane, TE, Chazin, WJ, Vogl, T, Roth, J, Skaar, EP, Raffatellu, M. Zinc sequestration by the neutrophil protein calprotectin enhances Salmonella growth in the inflamed gut. Cell Host Microbe, 11(3), 227-39, 2012

Mortensen, BL, Skaar, EP. Host-microbe interactions that shape the pathogenesis of Acinetobacter baumannii infection. Cell Microbiol, 2012

Pishchany, G, Skaar, EP. Taste for blood: hemoglobin as a nutrient source for pathogens. PLoS Pathog, 8(3), e1002535, 2012 PMCID:3297580

Anzaldi, LL, Skaar, EP. The evolution of a superbug: how Staphylococcus aureus overcomes its unique susceptibility to polyamines. Mol Microbiol, 82(1), 1-3, 2011

Cassat, JE, Skaar, EP. Metal ion acquisition in Staphylococcus aureus: overcoming nutritional immunity. Semin Immunopathol, 2011

Grossoehme, N, Kehl-Fie, TE, Ma, Z, Adams, KW, Cowart, DM, Scott, RA, Skaar, EP, Giedroc, DP. Control of copper resistance and inorganic sulfur metabolism by paralogous regulators in Staphylococcus aureus. J Biol Chem, 286(15), 13522-31, 2011 PMCID:3037362

Haley, KP, Janson, EM, Heilbronner, S, Foster, TJ, Skaar, EP. Staphylococcus lugdunensis IsdG liberates iron from host heme. J Bacteriol, 193(18), 4749-57, 2011

Haley, KP, Skaar, EP. A battle for iron: host sequestration and Staphylococcus aureus acquisition. Microbes Infect, 2011

Hammer, ND, Skaar, EP. The impact of metal sequestration on Staphylococcus aureus metabolism. Curr Opin Microbiol, 2011

Hammer, ND, Skaar, EP. Molecular mechanisms of Staphylococcus aureus iron acquisition. Annu Rev Microbiol, 65, 129-47, 2011

Kehl-Fie, TE, Chitayat, S, Hood, MI, Damo, S, Restrepo, N, Garcia, C, Munro, KA, Chazin, WJ, Skaar, EP. Nutrient metal sequestration by calprotectin inhibits bacterial superoxide defense, enhancing neutrophil killing of Staphylococcus aureus. Cell Host Microbe, 10(2), 158-64, 2011

Krishna Kumar, K, Jacques, DA, Pishchany, G, Caradoc-Davies, T, Spirig, T, Malmirchegini, GR, Langley, DB, Dickson, CF, Mackay, JP, Clubb, RT, Skaar, EP, Guss, JM, Gell, DA. Structural basis for hemoglobin capture by Staphylococcus aureus cell-surface protein, IsdH. J Biol Chem, 286(44), 38439-47, 2011

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, Dunman, PM. Small molecule inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus RnpA alter cellular mRNA turnover, exhibit antimicrobial activity, and attenuate pathogenesis. PLoS Pathog, 7(2), e1001287, 2011 PMCID:3037362

Reniere, ML, Haley, KP, Skaar, EP. The flexible loop of Staphylococcus aureus IsdG is required for its degradation in the absence of heme. Biochemistry, 50(31), 6730-7, 2011

Wakeman, CA, Skaar, EP. Metalloregulation of Gram-positive pathogen physiology. Curr Opin Microbiol, 2011

Anzaldi, LL, Skaar, EP. Overcoming the heme paradox: heme toxicity and tolerance in bacterial pathogens. Infect Immun, 78(12), 4977-89, 2010 PMCID:2981329

Attia, AS, Benson, MA, Stauff, DL, Torres, VJ, Skaar, EP. Membrane damage elicits an immunomodulatory program in Staphylococcus aureus. PLoS Pathog, 6(3), e1000802, 2010 PMCID:2837406

Hood, MI, Jacobs, AC, Sayood, K, Dunman, PM, Skaar, EP. Acinetobacter baumannii increases tolerance to antibiotics in response to monovalent cations. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 54(3), 1029-41, 2010 PMCID:2837406

House, DL, Chon, CH, Creech, CB, Skaar, EP, Li, D. Miniature on-chip detection of unpurified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) DNA using real-time PCR. J Biotechnol, 146(3), 93-9, 2010 PMCID:2837406

Jacobs, AC, Hood, I, Boyd, KL, Olson, PD, Morrison, JM, Carson, S, Sayood, K, Iwen, PC, Skaar, EP, Dunman, PM. Inactivation of phospholipase D diminishes Acinetobacter baumannii pathogenesis. Infect Immun, 78(5), 1952-62, 2010 PMCID:2863507

Kehl-Fie, TE, Skaar, EP. Nutritional immunity beyond iron: a role for manganese and zinc. Curr Opin Chem Biol, 14(2), 218-24, 2010 PMCID:2837406

Pishchany, G, McCoy, AL, Torres, VJ, Krause, JC, Crowe, JE, Fabry, ME, Skaar, EP. Specificity for human hemoglobin enhances Staphylococcus aureus infection. Cell Host Microbe, 8(6), 544-50, 2010 PMCID:3032424

Reniere, ML, Ukpabi, GN, Harry, SR, Stec, DF, Krull, R, Wright, DW, Bachmann, BO, Murphy, ME, Skaar, EP. The IsdG-family of haem oxygenases degrades haem to a novel chromophore. Mol Microbiol, 75(6), 1529-38, 2010 PMCID:2837406

Skaar, EP. The Battle for Iron between Bacterial Pathogens and Their Vertebrate Hosts. PLoS Pathog, 6(8), 2010

Torres, VJ, Attia, AS, Mason, WJ, Hood, MI, Corbin, BD, Beasley, FC, Anderson, KL, Stauff, DL, McDonald, WH, Zimmerman, LJ, Friedman, DB, Heinrichs, DE, Dunman, PM, Skaar, EP. Staphylococcus aureus fur regulates the expression of virulence factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of pneumonia. Infect Immun, 78(4), 1618-28, 2010 PMCID:2837406

Mason, WJ, Skaar, EP. Assessing the contribution of heme-iron acquisition to Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia using computed tomography. PLoS One, 4(8), e6668, 2009 PMCID:2723934

Pishchany, G, Dickey, SE, Skaar, EP. Subcellular localization of the Staphylococcus aureus heme iron transport components IsdA and IsdB. Infect Immun, 77(7), 2624-34, 2009 PMCID:2708553

Skaar, EP. A precious metal heist. Cell Host Microbe, 5(5), 422-4, 2009 PMCID:2723934

Stauff DL, Skaar, EP. The heme sensor system of Staphylococcus aureus.. Contrib Microbiol, 16, 120-135, 2009

Stauff, DL, Skaar, EP. Bacillus anthracis HssRS signaling to HrtAB regulates heme resistance during infection. Mol Microbiol, 2009 PMCID:2723934

Stauff, DL, Skaar, EP. The heme sensor system of Staphylococcus aureus. Contrib Microbiol, 16, 120-35, 2009 PMCID:2723934

Corbin, BD, Seeley, EH, Raab, A, Feldmann, J, Miller, MR, Torres, VJ, Anderson, KL, Dattilo, BM, Dunman, PM, Gerads, R, Caprioli, RM, Nacken, W, Chazin, WJ, Skaar, EP. Metal chelation and inhibition of bacterial growth in tissue abscesses. Science, 319(5865), 962-5, 2008 PMCID:2395006

Lee, WC, Reniere, ML, Skaar, EP, Murphy, ME. Ruffling of metalloporphyrins bound to IsdG and IsdI, two heme-degrading enzymes in Staphylococcus aureus. J Biol Chem, 283(45), 30957-63, 2008 PMCID:2576546

Palazzolo-Ballance, AM, Reniere, ML, Braughton, KR, Sturdevant, DE, Otto, M, Kreiswirth, BN, Skaar, EP, DeLeo, FR. Neutrophil microbicides induce a pathogen survival response in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Immunol, 180(1), 500-9, 2008

Reniere, ML, Skaar, EP. Staphylococcus aureus heme oxygenases are differentially regulated by iron and heme. Mol Microbiol, 2008 PMCID:2597461

Stauff, DL, Bagaley, D, Torres, VJ, Joyce, R, Anderson, KL, Kuechenmeister, L, Dunman, PM, Skaar, EP. Staphylococcus aureus HrtA is an ATPase required for protection against heme toxicity and prevention of a transcriptional heme stress response. J Bacteriol, 190(10), 3588-96, 2008 PMCID:2395006

Reniere, ML, Torres, VJ, Skaar, EP. Intracellular metalloporphyrin metabolism in Staphylococcus aureus. Biometals, 2007

Stauff, DL, Torres, VJ, Skaar, EP. Signaling and DNA-binding activities of the Staphylococcus aureus HssR-HssS two-component system required for heme sensing. J Biol Chem, 282(36), 26111-21, 2007

Torres, V.J., Stauff, D.L., Pishchany, G., Bezbradica, J.S., Gordy, L.E., Iturregui, J., Anderson, K.L, Dunman, P.M., Joyce, S., Skaar, E.P. . A Staphylococcus aureus regulatory system that responds to host heme and modulates virulence. . Cell Host and Microbe(1), 109-119, 2007

Torres, VJ, Stauff, DL, Pishchany, G, Bezbradica, JS, Gordy, LE, Iturregui, J, Anderson, KL, Dunman, PM, Joyce, S, Skaar, EP. A Staphylococcus aureus regulatory system that responds to host heme and modulates virulence. Cell Host Microbe, 1(2), 109-19, 2007 PMCID:2083280

Friedman, DB, Stauff, DL, Pishchany, G, Whitwell, CW, Torres, VJ, Skaar, EP. Staphylococcus aureus Redirects Central Metabolism to Increase Iron Availability. PLoS Pathog, 2(8), 2006 PMCID:1557832

Skaar, EP, Gaspar, AH, Schneewind, O. Bacillus anthracis IsdG, a heme-degrading monooxygenase. J Bacteriol, 188(3), 1071-80, 2006 PMCID:1347327

Torres, VJ, Pishchany, G, Humayun, M, Schneewind, O, Skaar, EP. Staphylococcus aureus IsdB is a Hemoglobin Receptor Required for Heme-Iron Utilization. J Bacteriol, 2006 PMCID:1698231

Skaar, EP, Lecuyer, B, Lenich, AG, Lazio, MP, Perkins-Balding, D, Seifert, HS, Karls, AC. Analysis of the Piv recombinase-related gene family of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. J Bacteriol, 187(4), 1276-86, 2005 PMCID:545610

Wu, R, Skaar, EP, Zhang, R, Joachimiak, G, Gornicki, P, Schneewind, O, Joachimiak, A. Staphylococcus aureus IsdG and IsdI, heme-degrading enzymes with structural similarity to monooxygenases. J Biol Chem, 280(4), 2840-6, 2005

Skaar, EP, Gaspar, AH, Schneewind, O. IsdG and IsdI, heme-degrading enzymes in the cytoplasm of Staphylococcus aureus. J Biol Chem, 279(1), 436-43, 2004

Skaar, EP, Humayun, M, Bae, T, DeBord, KL, Schneewind, O. Iron-source preference of Staphylococcus aureus infections. Science, 305(5690), 1626-8, 2004

Skaar, EP, Schneewind, O. Iron-regulated surface determinants (Isd) of Staphylococcus aureus: stealing iron from heme. Microbes Infect, 6(4), 390-7, 2004

Kline, KA, Sechman, EV, Skaar, EP, Seifert, HS. Recombination, repair and replication in the pathogenic Neisseriae: the 3 R's of molecular genetics of two human-specific bacterial pathogens. Mol Microbiol, 50(1), 3-13, 2003

Mazmanian, SK, Skaar, EP, Gaspar, AH, Humayun, M, Gornicki, P, Jelenska, J, Joachmiak, A, Missiakas, DM, Schneewind, O. Passage of heme-iron across the envelope of Staphylococcus aureus. Science, 299(5608), 906-9, 2003

Hickman, JW, Barber, RD, Skaar, EP, Donohue, TJ. Link between the membrane-bound pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase and glutathione-dependent processes in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. J Bacteriol, 184(2), 400-9, 2002 PMCID:139586

Skaar, EP, Lazio, MP, Seifert, HS. Roles of the recJ and recN genes in homologous recombination and DNA repair pathways of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. J Bacteriol, 184(4), 919-27, 2002 PMCID:134828

Skaar, EP, Seifert, HS. The misidentification of bacterial genes as human cDNAs: was the human D-1 tumor antigen gene acquired from bacteria. Genomics, 79(5), 625-7, 2002

Skaar, EP, Tobiason, DM, Quick, J, Judd, RC, Weissbach, H, Etienne, F, Brot, N, Seifert, HS. The outer membrane localization of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrA/B is involved in survival against reactive oxygen species. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 99(15), 10108-13, 2002 PMCID:126632

Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details
A position is available to study the interface between Staphylococcus aureus and the host.

Updated Date