Microbiology & Immunology Faculty
Joel B. Baseman, Ph.D.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MPN) is among the most common bacterial pathogens causing human respiratory diseases. Our recent discovery of a unique MPN toxin represents the first authentic virulence determinant found among all pathogenic mycoplasmas, and appears to be a bona fide ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating toxin, like the classical ADP-ribosylating toxins of pertussis, diphtheria etc. The roles that MPN and toxin, designated Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome (CARDS) toxin, play in acute and chronic airway diseases are being investigated, including the identification of diagnostic and therapeutic candidates for the clinical management and prevention of MPN-mediated airway diseases.
In parallel studies, we examine the sexually transmitted mycoplasma pathogen, Mycoplasma genitalium (MGN). We are clarifying MGN virulence determinants that mediate the dynamic interactions between MGN and human target cells, leading to overt clinical disease. Recently, we described the remarkable ability of MGN to exhibit perinuclear and intranucleolar localization, suggesting that this pathogen circumvents host defenses and navigates through host cell structures in order to establish and maintain viability and persistence. Specific gene products of MGN that contribute to this unique trafficking are being identified in order to understand how this pathogen elicits pathogenetic consequences and to identify MGN molecules that can be used as therapeutic targets to interrupt or prevent disease progression.
Musatovova, O., T.R. Kannan and J.B. Baseman. 2012. Mycoplasma pneumoniae large DNA repetitive elements RepMP1 show type specific organization among strains. PLoS One 7(10):e-7625
Medina, J.L., J.J. Coalson, E.G. Brooks, V.T. Winter, A. Chaparro, M.F.R. Principe, T.R. Kannan and J.B. Baseman. . 2012. Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS toxin induces pulmonary eosinophilic and lymphocytic inflammation. Am J. of Resp. Cell Molec. Biol. 2012 Jun;46(6):815-22.
- Muir, M.T., S.M. Cohn, C. Louden, T.R. Kannan and J.B. Baseman. 2011. Novel toxin assays implicate Mycoplasma pneumoniae in prolonged ventilator course and hypoxemia. Chest 139(2):305-310.
- Johnson , C., Kannan T.R. and J.B. Baseman. 2011. Cellular Vacuoles Induced by Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS Toxin Originate from Rab9-Associated Compartments. PLoS One;6(7):e22877.
- Zhang, W. and J.B. Baseman. 2011. Transcriptional responses of Mycoplasma genitalium to osmotic stress. Microbiol. 157(2):548-56.
- Zhang, W. and J.B. Baseman. 2011. Transcriptional regulation of MG_149, an osmoinducible lipoprotein gene from Mycoplasma genitalium. Molec. Micro. 81(2):327-339.
- Peters, J., H. Singh, E. Brooks, J. Diaz, T.R. Kannan, J.J. Coalson, M. Cagle and J.B. Baseman. 2011 Persistence of CARDS Toxin-producing Mycoplasma pneumoniae in Refractory Asthma. Chest 140(2):401-407.
- Kannan, T.R., J.J. Coalson, M. Cagle, O. Musatovova, R.D. Hardy and J.B. Baseman. 2011. Synthesis and distribution of CARDS toxin during Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in a murine model. J. Infect. Dis. J. Infect. Dis. 204(10):1596-604.
- Kannan, T.R., R.D. Hardy, J.J. Coalson, D.C. Cavuoti, J.D. Siegel, M. Cagle, O. Musatovova, C. Herrera and J.B. Baseman. 2011. Fatal outcomes in family transmission of Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Clin. Infect. Dis. 54(2):225-231.
- Techasaensiri, C., C. Tagliabue, M. Cagle, P. Iranpour, K. Katz, T.R. Kannan, J.J. Coalson, J.B. Baseman and R.D. Hardy. 2010. Variation in colonization, ADP-ribosylating cytotoxin,and pulmonary disease severity among Mycoplasma pneumoniae strains. Am. J. Res. Crit. Care Med. 182:797-804.
- Somarajan, S.R., T.R. Kannan and J.B. Baseman. 2010. Mycoplasma pneumoniae Mpn133 is a cytotoxic nuclease with a glutamic acid, lysine and serine rich region essential for binding and internalization but not enzymatic activity. Cell Microbiol. 12(12):1821-1831
- Li, Linbo, M. Krishnan, J.B. Baseman, and T.R. Kannan. 2010. Molecular cloning, expression and characterization of a Ca2+ dependent, membrane associated nuclease of Mycoplasma genitalium. J. Bacteriol. 192:4876-4884.
- Stuart Mudd Memorial Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania and American Society for Microbiology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1992)
- Keynote Speaker and Recipient of the Klieneberger-Nobel Award, 13th Congress of the International Organization for Mycoplasmology, Fukuoka, Japan (2000)
- Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel Award and Medal for Oustanding Career Research, International Organization for Mycoplasmology, Fukuoka, Japan (2000)
- Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2003)
- Elected Fellow, American Society for Microbiology (2012)
- Presidential Distinguished Senior Research Scholar Award, The Univ. of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2012)
Chair, NIH Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Bethesda, Maryland (2003)
Chair, NIH Special Study Section Review, Bethesda, Maryland (2003)
Member, Regional Advisory Council (RAC), Region VI Regional Center of Excellence (RCE) in Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Dieseases, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas (2003)
Member, RCE Scientific Advisory Board, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas (2003)
Associate Director, RCE Developmental Research Program, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas (2003)
Member, Executive Committee, Sexually Transmitted Infections Topical Microbicides Cooperative Research Center (2006-2009)
Member, Steering Committee of the AADCRC (Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center) (2006-2011)
Member, Army Blood Research Program Advisory Board (2009)
Senior Editor, Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) Immunology and Medical Microbiology (1995-2000)
Member, AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) (1996-2004);
Program Committee (1999-2000); elected to Steering Committee (2000-2004)
Councilor, American Society for Microbiology, Division G (2000-2002)
Member, Membership Board, American Society for Microbiology (2003-2006)
Chair, Career Development Committee, American Society for Microbiology (2003-2006)
Member, Women’s Career Development Grants Review Committee (2006-2010)
Lab Rooms: STRF - 293.1 G-M Phone: 562-4171
- Marianna Cagle, Special Research Coordinator
- Brandon Guin, Lab Technician Assistant III
- Caleb Herrera, Research Associate
- Kumaraguruparan Ramasamy, Postdoctoral Fellow
- T. R. Kannan, Ph.D., Asst. Professor/Research
- Lavanya Pandranki, Research Fellow
- Wenbo Zhang, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow