Headshot of Kristin Burkholder

Kristin M. Burkholder, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Assistant Academic Director


Peter and Cecile Morgane Hall 104



Purdue University
Purdue University
Virginia Tech



Post-Doctoral Training

Post-Doctoral Training, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Michigan Medical School, 2010-2012 (Ann Arbor, Michigan)


Current research

My lab studies how bacterial pathogens interact with their host cells and with other microbes.  I am particularly interested in (i) strategies used by pathogens to avoid destruction by host innate intracellular defenses, and (ii) mechanisms by which nonpathogenic probiotic bacteria can mitigate pathogen infection.


Selected publications

REFEREED PUBLICATIONS (*undergraduate student author, **M.S. student author)

Barberi, O.M.**, C.J. Byron, K.M. Burkholder, A.T. St. Gelais and A.K. Williams.  2019.  Assessment of bacterial pathogens on edible macroalgae in coastal waters.  Journal of Applied Phycology.

Burkholder, K.M., D. H. Fletcher*, L. Gileau* and A. Kandolo*.  2019.  Lactic acid bacteria decrease Salmonella enterica Javiana virulence and modulate host inflammation during infection of an intestinal epithelial cell line.  FEMS Pathogens and Disease.  77(3). doi:10.1093/femspd/ftz025.

Deveau, A.M., Z. Miller-Hope**, E. Lloyd*, B.S. Williams*, C. Bolduc*, J.M. Meader*, F. Weiss* and K.M. Burkholder.  2016.  Antimicrobial activity of extracts from macroalgae Ulva lactuca against clinically important Staphylococci is impacted by lunar phase of macroalgae harvest.  Letters in Applied Microbiology.  62(5):363-371.

Tranchemontagne, Z.R.**, R.B. Camire*, V.J. O'Donnell, J. Baugh* and K.M. Burkholder.  2016.  Staphylococcus aureus strain USA300 perturbs acquisition of lysosomal enzymes and requires phagosomal acidification for survival inside macrophages.  Infection and Immunity. 84(1):241-253.

Abuaita, B.H., K.M. Burkholder, B.R. Boles and M.X.D. O'Riordan.  2015.  The endoplasmic reticulum stress sensor inositol-reducing enzyme 1α augments bacterial killing through sustained oxidant production. MBio. 6(4):e00705.

Burkholder, K.M., J. Perry, C. Wobus, H. Showalter, V. Kapuria, N. Donato and M.X.D. O'Riordan.  2011.  A small molecule deubiquitinase inhibitor increases localization of iNOS to the macrophage phagosome and enhances bacterial killing.  Infection and Immunity. 12:4850-7.

Mishra, K.K., Mendonca, M., Aroonnual, A., Burkholder, K.M. and Bhunia, A.K.  2011. Genetic organization and molecular characterization of the secA2 locus in Listeria species. Gene.  489:76-85.

Burkholder, K.M and Bhunia, A.K. 2010. Listeria monocytogenes uses Listeria Adhesion Protein (LAP) to promote bacterial transepithelial translocation, and induces expression of LAP receptor Hsp60.  Infection and Immunity.  78: 5062-5073.

Jagadeesan B., Koo O.-K., Kim K.-P., Burkholder K.M., Mishra K., Aroonnual A., Bhunia A.K.  2010. LAP, an alcohol acetaldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme in Listeria, promotes bacterial adhesion to enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells only in pathogenic species.  Microbiology. 156: 2782-95.

Burkholder, K.M., Kim, K-P., Mishra, K., Medina, S., Hahm, B-K., Kim, H., and Bhunia, A.K. 2009. Expression of LAP, a SecA2-dependent secretory protein, is induced under anaerobic environment. Microbes and Infection. 11: 859-867.

Burkholder, K.M. and Bhunia, A.K. 2009. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium adhesion and cytotoxicity during epithelial cell stress is reduced by Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Gut Pathogens. 1: 14.

Burkholder, K.M., K.L. Thompson, T.A. Applegate and J.A. Patterson.  2008.  Influence of stressors on normal intestinal microbiota, intestinal morphology and susceptibility to Salmonella Enteriditis colonization in broilers.  Poultry Science. 87: 1734-1741.

Akin, D., J. Sturgis, K. Ragheb, D. Sherman, K.M. Burkholder, J.P. Robinson, A.K. Bhunia, S. Mohammed, and R. Bashir. 2007. Bacteria-mediated delivery of nanoparticles into cells. Nature Nanotechnology. 2: 441-449.

Kim, K.-P., B. Jagadeesan, K.M. Burkholder, Z.W. Jaradat, J.L. Wampler, A.A. Lathrop, M.T. Morgan, and A.K. Bhunia. 2006.  Adhesion characteristics of Listeria adhesion protein (LAP)-expressing Escherichia coli to Caco-2 cells and of recombinant LAP to eukaryotic receptor Hsp60 as examined in a surface plasmon resonance sensor.  FEMS Microbiology Letters.  256: 324-332.


BOOK CHAPTERS (*undergraduate student author)

Vunk, T. and K.M. Burkholder.  2018. The role of the indigenous human microbiota in health and disease.  In Hurst C (ed), Advances in Environmental Microbiology, Volume 5.  Modeling the transmission and prevention of infectious disease.  Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.  

Burkholder, K.M. and M.X.D. O'Riordan.  2016. Opportunistic pathogens of humans.  In Hurst C (ed), Advances in Environmental Microbiology, Volume 3.  The Rasputin effect: when commendals and symbionts become parasitic.  Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.

Burkholder, K.M. and A.K. Bhunia.  2013.  Listeria monocytogenes and human Hsp60 - an invasive pairing, p 267-282.  In Henderson B (ed), Moonlighting cell stress proteins in microbial infections.  Springer, New York, NY.


Other scholarly activity


“Evasion and exploitation of macrophage phagosomal defenses by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),” Presented at the Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories, Bar Harbor, ME.  April, 2017.

“Cellular mechanisms of infection and strategies for infection control,” Presented to Southern Maine Community College Department of Science, South Portland, ME. March, 2017.

“Host and pathogen adaptation to intramacrophage infection by Staphylococcus aureus,” Presented to University of Maine Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Orono, ME.  December, 2013.

“Enhancing the host innate immune response against bacterial pathogens,” Presented to Mendel University, Biotechnology Program, Brno, Czech Republic.  October 2011.


MEETING ABSTRACTS (*UNE undergraduate student author, ** UNE M.S. student author)

Fletcher, D.*, A. Kandolo*, L. Gileau* and K.M. Burkholder.  Lactic acid bacteria reduce virulence of Salmonella enterica Javiana and modulate host inflammatory response during intestinal epithelial cell infection. Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium, 2017.

Lloyd, E.*, C. Russell*, Z. Miller-Hope, J. Woolf*, A.M. Deveau and K.M. Burkholder.  Extracts from marine macroalgae Ulva lactuca and Saccharina latissima inhibit growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium, 2017.

Gileau, L.*, D. Fletcher*, R. Camire*, S. Goudreau* and K.M. Burkholder.  Lactic acid bacteria reduce Salmonella Javiana-induced epithelial cell cytotoxicity and decrease pathogen virulence gene expression.  American Society of Microbiology Meeting, 2016. 

Camire, R.*, Z.R. Tranchemontagne**, J. Baugh* and K.M. Burkholder.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) requires phagosomal acidification for virulence and survival in human macrophages.  Boston Bacterial Meeting, 2015.

Tranchemontagne, Z.R.**, J. Baugh* and K.M. Burkholder.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) USA300 perturbs acquisition of lysosomal hydrolases and requires phagosomal acidification for survival in a human macrophage cell line.  American Society of Microbiology Meeting, 2014.

Burkholder, K.M. and M.X.D. O’Riordan.  Induction of antibacterial defenses by the unfolded protein response (UPR).  Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference, 2011.

Burkholder, K.M., J. Perry, C. Wobus, N. Donato, M.X.D. O’Riordan.  Perturbing macrophage ubiquitin dynamics to probe innate immune function.  Gordon Research Conference on Phagocytes, 2011.

Burkholder, K.M. and A.K. Bhunia.  Listeria monocytogenes uses Listeria Adhesion Protein (LAP) to promote bacterial translocation, and induces expression of LAP receptor Hsp60.  Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference, 2009.

Burkholder, K.M., K.-P. Kim, B.-K. Hahm, K. Mishra, S. Medina-Maldonado and A. K. Bhunia.  Anaerobic environment increases surface localization of Listeria Adhesion Protein (LAP) and promotes infectivity of Listeria monocytogenes.  American Society of Microbiology Meeting, 2008.

Burkholder, K.M. B.-K. Hahm, K.-P. Kim and A.K. Bhunia. Listeria Adhesion Protein (LAP) Facilitates L. monocytogenes Translocation through Intestinal Epithelial Cells.  American Society for Microbiology Meeting, 2007.

K.M. Burkholder, B.M. Jagadeesan, J.L. Wampler and A.K. Bhunia.  Interaction of Listeria Adhesion Protein (LAP) with Human Hsp60 on the Surface of Stressed Epithelial Cells.  American Society for Microbiology Meeting, 2006.

Burkholder, K.M., A.K. Bhunia, and J.A. Patterson.  Interaction of Salmonella with cultured intestinal cell lines during heat stress.  American Society for Microbiology Meeting, 2005.

Burkholder, K.M., and J.A. Patterson.  Changes in intestinal microbiota and ileal susceptibility to pathogen attachment in broilers subjected to 24 hr heat stress.  Poultry Science Association Meeting, 2004.

Burkholder, K.M., K. L. Thompson, K.M. Banks, T. J. Applegate, J. A. Patterson.  Feed withdrawal alters intestinal morphology and attachment of Salmonella Enteritidis in broilers.   Poultry Science Association Meeting, 2003.

Research interests

Bacterial pathogenesis; host-pathogen interactions; food safety