Faculty & Staff Directory
Monique Van Hoek
- Professor (Microbiology and Infectious Diseases)
PhD, Microbiology, University of Virginia (1997)
My laboratory studies antibiotic-resistant and biothreat bacteria. We study the microbial pathogenesis and bacterial physiology of Francisella tularensis, the cause of the disease tularemia. We study bacterial small-molecule communication, biofilms and quorum sensing. We also develop and test novel antibacterial and antibiofilm compounds including antimicrobial peptides, with a special focus on antibiotic-resistant (multi-drug resistant) bacterial pathogens. We are especially interested in finding new peptides that will be effective against MDR gram-negative bacteria, as they are a key part of the emerging crisis of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Thus, we study all the ESKAPE pathogens, and are interested in wound infections and new wound-healing approaches.
We are currently studying the ability of Nanotraps (ceresnanosci.com) to bind to biomolecules of Francisella tularensis. We also have projects on all the areas described above. I am seeking new PhD students with cross-disciplinary interests and proven abilities in small-molecule chromatography and bioinformatics combined with an interest in bacteriology for future projects.
Microbial pathogenesis, Bacterial physiology, Antimicrobials, Bacterial communication: Biofilms and Quorum sensing, Medical Microbiology.
1. Two-Component Systems in Francisella Species. van Hoek ML, Hoang KV, Gunn JS. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019 Jun 12;9:198. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31263682
2. Komodo dragon-inspired synthetic peptide DRGN-1 promotes wound-healing of a mixed-biofilm infected wound. Chung EMC, Dean SN, Propst CN, Bishop BM, van Hoek ML. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2017 Apr 11;3:9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28649410
3. Cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide from Alligator mississippiensis has antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumanii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Barksdale SM, Hrifko EJ, van Hoek ML. Dev Comp Immunol. 2017 May;70:135-144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28089718
4. Burkholderia Diffusible Signal Factor Signals to Francisella novicida To Disperse Biofilm and Increase Siderophore Production. Dean SN, Chung MC, van Hoek ML. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Oct;81(20):7057-66. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26231649
5. Screen of FDA-approved drug library identifies maprotiline, an antibiofilm and antivirulence compound with QseC sensor-kinase dependent activity in Francisella novicida. Dean SN, van Hoek ML. Virulence. 2015;6(5):487-503.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26155740
2009 Virginia Academy of Science J. Shelton Horsley Research Award.