Timothy Borgogna
 Timothy Borgogna

Speaker: Timothy Borgogna, doctoral student,
Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
Montana State University

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019
Time: 2:10 PM
Place: Byker Auditorium, Chemistry & Biochemistry Building
TitleStaphylococcus aureus Pneumonia: Provoking the Executioner

The lecture will be followed by a reception.


Borgogna studies the multidrug-resistant pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), a bacterium that asymptomatically colonizes the nostrils of approximately 60% of the population enabling daily and routine dispersion from the upper respiratory tract into the lungs. Despite reoccurring exposure to the respiratory tract, S. aureus rarely acts as a primary cause of lung disease in immunocompetent hosts. However, following an infection with influenza A virus, host susceptibility to secondary S. aureus pneumonia dramatically increases. In these cases, mortality rates increase more than 10-fold compared to those with influenza A infection alone. Although this pathology has been observed since the beginning of the 20th century, minimal efforts have been directed towards identifying the bacterial factors that contribute to this increased pathogenesis.

Borgogna′s research has demonstrated that infection with influenza A alters the lipid components of a healthy lung environment that usually suppress the ability of S. aureus to cause disease. In response to this altered environment, S. aureus quickly expresses an array of tightly regulated genes that are essential for the severity of secondary bacterial pneumonia. His findings suggest that novel treatment methods for secondary bacterial pneumonia could be developed using pharmaceuticals already approved by the FDA.

Borgogna is the recipient of a 2018 Kopriva Graduate Fellowship.

Borgogna’s lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva, who died in 2002, also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program, which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series features seminars by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers.