2787-Bauer, Margaret

Margaret E. Bauer, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology


            Dr. Bauer received her A.B. in Biological Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, in 1985 and her MS in Molecular Biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1988.  From 1988-1990, she worked for as a laboratory technician at the University of Missouri-Columbia, studying Vibrio cholerae pathogenesis, which sparked her interest in bacterial pathogens.  She then received her doctorate in Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996.  She received her postdoctoral training in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University School of Medicine from 1996-2000.  She then joined the faculty of the IUSM Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases as an Assistant Scientist studying host-pathogen interactions between the human host and Haemophilus ducreyi, a bacterial pathogen that causes non-healing skin ulcers and manifests as a major cause of chronic lower limb ulcerations in children in the tropics and a sexually transmitted genital ulcer disease in resource-poor nations.  In 2005, she joined the faculty of the IUSM Department of Microbiology and Immunology as an Assistant Professor and was promoted in 2013 to Associate Professor.  Her research has been funded by several NIH grants as well as IUSM and IUPUI research grants.  

            In addition to her laboratory research, which continued to focus on host-pathogen interactions of Haemophilus ducreyi, Dr. Bauer is involved in medical and graduate education.  She teaches microbiology to medical students and formerly served as Course Director for the legacy curriculum’s Medical Microbiology course; she was involved in developing the new Host Defense course for the Phase 1 curriculum and currently serves as an instructor in that course at both IUSM-Indianapolis and IUSM-Terre Haute campuses.  In graduate education, Dr. Bauer teaches in introductory and advanced microbial pathogenesis courses (the latter as course director), and she runs her department’s student seminar series, which emphasizes not only student research but presentation skills and professionalism in peer evaluation.  She received the IUSM Trustees Teaching Award in 2010 and 2015. 

            Dr. Bauer serves in leadership roles in the education mission of her department, IUSM, and IU.  She serves as Director of Foundational Science Integration, Phase 1 Curriculum, within Medical Student Education (MSE), where she provides leadership and management of the basic science component of the preclinical (Phase 1) medical student curriculum.  She also serves as Medical Knowledge Competency Director for IUSM medical students.  She serves on, and recently completed 3 years chairing, the IU-wide Graduate Faculty Council, which advises the University Graduate School Dean on policies and issues related to graduate education.  She serves as the Graduate Advisor of her department and was recently named her department’s Vice Chair of Education.  In 2017, Dr. Bauer changed her Area of Excellence to Education in order to focus full-time on the education mission.  


Key Publications

1.  Trombley, M. P., D. M. B. Post, S. D. Rinker, L. M. Reinders, K. R. Fortney, B. W. Zwickl, D. M. Janowicz, F. M. Baye, B. P. Katz, S. M. Spinola, and M. E. Bauer.  2015.  Phosphoethanolamine transferase LptA in Haemophilus ducreyi modifies lipid A and contributes to human defensin resistance in vitro.  PLOS One 10(4): e0124373.  PMCID:  PMC4406763.  

2.  Bauer, M. E. and W. M. Shafer.  2015.  On the in vivo significance of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial peptides.  BBA Biomembranes 1848: 3101-3111.  PMCID:  PMC4540701. 

 3.  Janowicz, D. M., B. W. Zwickl, K. R. Fortney, B. P. Katz, and M. E. Bauer.  2014.  Outer membrane protein P4 is not required for virulence in the human challenge model of Haemophilus ducreyi infection.  BMC Microbiology 14:166.  PMCID:  PMC4081464.

4.  Li, W., B. P. Katz, M. E. Bauer, and S. M. Spinola.  2013.  Haemophilus ducreyi infection induces the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in nonpolarized but not in polarized human macrophages.  Infect. Immun. 81:2997-3008.  PMCID:  PMC3719567.

5.  Rinker, S. D., X. Gu, K. R. Fortney, B. W. Zwickl, B. P. Katz, D. M. Janowicz, S. M. Spinola, and M. E. Bauer.  2012.  Permeases of the Sap transporter are required for cathelicidin resistance and virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans.  J. Infect. Dis. 206:1407-1414.  PMCID:  PMC3529601.

6.  Rinker, S. D., M. P. Trombley, X. Gu, K. R. Fortney, and M. E. Bauer.  2011.  Deletion of mtrC in Haemophilus ducreyi increases sensitivity to human antimicrobial peptides and activates the CpxRA regulon.  Infect. Immun. 79:2324-2334.  PMCID:  PMC3125844.

7.  Mount, K. L. B., C. A. Townsend, S. D. Rinker, X. Gu, K. R. Fortney, B. W. Zwickl, D. M. Janowicz, S. M. Spinola, B. P. Katz, and M. E. Bauer.  2010.  Haemophilus ducreyi SapA contributes to cathelicidin resistance and virulence in humans.  Infect. Immun. 78:1176-1184.  PMCID:  PMC2825904. 

Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
  • Education
    2000 FEL Indiana University School of Medicine
    1996 PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison
    1988 MA University of Missouri
    1985 AB Washington University
  • Research

    Our laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases, with an emphasis on the host-pathogen interactions between Haemophilus ducreyi, which causes chancroid, and the human host. 

    Our research focuses on host-pathogen interactions of the sexually transmitted bacterial pathogen Haemophilus ducreyi.  H. ducreyi is a pathogen of human skin and causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia that facilitates the transmission of HIV.  In our research, we use molecular tools and confocal microscopy-based imaging analysis to understand virulence mechanisms by which H. ducreyi survives in vivo.  We identify putative virulence factors and determine their roles in human disease through use of a human model of experimental infection.  We also characterize these virulence factors at the molecular level and develop appropriate functional assays to define their roles in mechanisms such as adherence or resistance to the killing effects of human phagocytes.  We have previously demonstrated that, throughout the course of disease, H. ducreyi survives extracellularly in a milieu of professional phagocytes.  As an extracellular pathogen, H. ducreyi encounters multiple killing mechanisms of the innate immune system.  One such mechanism is production of cationic antimicrobial peptides, which are secreted into the extracellular milieu by resident keratinocytes and infiltrating phagocytes.  We have identified a number of human antimicrobial peptides that cannot kill H. ducreyi; the mechanisms of resistance to these peptides and the contribution of these mechanisms to virulence of the organism are being investigated.  Throughout infection in humans, H. ducreyi is typically surrounded by fibrin in vivo, and several other extracellular pathogens utilize fibrin to evade opsonization or phagocytosis.  Thus, we are currently investigating the interactions between H. ducreyi and fibrin as a protective mechanism during pathogenesis.  Another focus of the lab is to define additional virulence factors based on our recently completed studies that defined a profile of H. ducreyi genes expressed during human infection.

  • Professional Organizations
    American Society for Microbiology
  • Awards
    Org: IUSM Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Students
    Desc: Randy S. Rosenthal Graduate Student Advocacy Award
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2016-06-15
    Org: IUSM Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Students
    Desc: Randy S. Rosenthal Graduate Student Advocacy Award
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2015-05-29
    Org: Indiana University School of Medicine
    Desc: Indiana University Trustee's Teaching Award
    Scope: School
    Date: 2015-05-09
    Org: Indiana University Department of Microbiology and Immunology
    Desc: Randy S. Rosenthal Graduate Student Advocacy Award
    Scope: Department
    Date: 2009-05-29
    Org: Indiana University School of Medicine
    Desc: Indiana University Trustee's Teaching Award
    Scope: School
    Date: 2009-05-09

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