Welcome to UM, Dr. Patrick Secor!

Patrick Secor and his children

Tell us a little about yourself, your hobbies and why you choose Missoula:

I was born and raised in Bozeman, MT. I received both my BS in Biochemistry (2006) and PhD in Biological Sciences (2011) from Montana State University. I then did two postdocs at the University of Washington before seizing the opportunity to come back to my home state in 2017. My wife Laura and I have four kids, two boys and two girls, all 7 years old or younger. We are very excited to be back in Montana because we are close to family and we were missing the Rocky Mountains. I live to ski in the winter. In the summer, I spend as much time as possible on the river or in the mountains camping, biking, climbing, and hiking.

Research focus:

Host-pathogen interactions, bacterial stress responses, filamentous bacteriophage, macromolecular crowding, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Research abstract:

Bacteria often occupy crowded, polymer-rich environments, especially in the context of chronic infection (sputum, mucus, pus, etc.). Crowding occurs when macromolecules, such as polymers, occupy a high percent volume (>20%) of a given environment, values easily achieved in most biological settings. Crowding is known to affect enzymatic activities, the assembly kinetics of structural proteins, and lipid membrane dynamics, to name a few. However, we know remarkably little about how bacteria sense and respond to macromolecular crowding. This has greatly limited our mechanistic understanding of how this fundamental interaction affects microbial pathogenesis. My lab studies how crowding affects infection phenotypes in the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Research funding:

NIH/NIAID Career transition award (K22), NIH/NIGMSCBSD COBRE young investigator award. Previous funding was from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Recent publications:

PR Secor, G Sass, H Nazik, DA Stevens. 2017. Effect of acute predation with bacteriophage on intermicrobial aggression by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PloS One, 12 (6), e0179659

PR Secor et al. 2017. Filamentous bacteriophage produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa alters the inflammatory response and promotes noninvasive infection in vivo. Infection and immunity, 85 (1), e00648-16. Featured on journal cover. 

AM Ratjen, PR Secor, PK Singh. 2016. CF airway polymers drive bacterial aggregation and activate bacterial stress responses that promote antibiotic tolerance. Pediatric Pulmonology, 51, 336-336.

JC Penner, JAG Ferreira, PR Secor, JM Sweere, MK Birukova, LM Joubert, et al. 2016. Pf4 bacteriophage produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa inhibits Aspergillus fumigatus metabolism via iron sequestration. Microbiology, 162 (9), 1583-1594.

PR Secor, LK Jennings, LA Michaels, JM Sweere, PK Singh, WC Parks, PL Bollyky. 2016. Biofilm assembly becomes crystal clear–filamentous bacteriophage organize the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm matrix into a liquid crystal. Microbial Cell, 3 (1), 49. Featured on journal cover.

PR Secor, JM Sweere, LA Michaels, AV Malkovskiy, D Lazzareschi, et al. 2015. Filamentous bacteriophage promote biofilm assembly and function. Cell Host & Microbe 18 (5), 549-559.

PR Secor, LA Michaels, PK Singh. 2015. Host And Microbial Polymers Passively Aggregate Cf Pathogens Producing Resistance To Killing And Promoting Interspecies Interactions. Pediatric Pulmonology, 50, 308.

LK Jennings, KM Storek, HE Ledvina, C Coulon, LS Marmont, I Sadovskaya, PR Secor, et al. 2015. Pel is a cationic exopolysaccharide that cross-links extracellular DNA in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm matrix. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (36), 11353-11358.

Welcome to UM, Patrick Secor!