Photo of Dr. Beth Bachert

Dr. Beth A. Bachert

Assistant Professor

beth.bachert@westpoint.edu

Biography


Dr. Beth Bachert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Life Science and will be teaching CH275 General Biology during AY24. Dr. Beth Bachert earned a Bachelor of Science in Genetic Engineering at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA in 2011. She continued to pursue a PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. She studied the role of collagen-like proteins in biofilm formation and pathogenesis of group A Streptococcus under the guidance of Dr. Slawomir Lukomski, earning her PhD in 2017. At WVU, she was awarded Gossling Scholarship in Microbiology and the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis. Dr. Bachert was then awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Research Council and continued her research at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD with Dr. Joel Bozue. She assisted with development and characterization of a panel of Francisella tularensis strains for vaccine testing, studied the impact of antibiotic resistance acquisition on fitness and pathogenesis of Francisella spp., and characterized novel targets for therapeutics against tularemia, including the cell wall lytic transglycosylase Slt.

Ongoing Research Projects


Dr. Bachert’s work is primarily focused on understanding the molecular basis for pathogenesis in bacteria, with an emphasis on identifying possible targets for therapeutics. Current research efforts in the Bachert laboratory are focused on investigating the contribution of the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) to the pathogenesis of Francisella spp. Additionally, she is interested in investigating the gene expression profiles of streptococci upon entry into host cells. 

Publications & Presentations


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Bachert, B.A., and Bozue, J.A. (2023). Peptidoglycan enzymes of Francisella: Roles in cell morphology and pathogenesis, and potential as therapeutic targets. Front Microbiol. 13. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.1099312.

Bachert, B. A., Richardson, J. B., Mlynek, K. D., Klimko, C. P., Toothman, R. G., Fetterer, D. P., Luquette, A. E., Chase, Kitty, Storrs, J. L., Rogers, A. K., Cote, C. K., Rozak, D. A., Bozue, J. A. (2021). Development, Phenotypic Characterization and Genomic Analysis of a Francisella tularensis Panel for Tularemia Vaccine Testing, Front Microbiol. 12:725776. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.725776.

Biot F. V., Bachert B. A., Mlynek K. D., Toothman R. G., Koroleva G. I., Lovett S. P., Klimko C. P., Palacios G. F., Cote C. K., Ladner J. T., Bozue J. A. (2020). Evolution of antibiotic resistance in surrogates of Francisella tularensis (LVS and Francisella novicida): Effects on biofilm formation and fitness, Front Microbiol. 11:593542. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.593542.

Kijek T. M., Mou S., Bachert B. A., Kuehl K. A., Williams J. A., Daye S. P., Worsham P. L., and Bozue J. A. (2019). The D-alanyl-d-alanine carboxypeptidase enzyme is essential for virulence in the Schu S4 strain of Francisella tularensis and a dacD mutant is able to provide protection against a pneumonic challenge, Microb Pathog. 137:103742. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2019.103742. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Bachert B. A., Biryukov S. S., Chua J., Rodriguez S. A., Toothman R. G. Jr., Cote C. K., Klimko C. P., Hunter M., Shoe J. L., Williams J. A., Kuehl K. A., Biot F. V., and Bozue J. A. (2019). A Francisella novicida mutant, lacking the soluble lytic transglycosylase Slt, exhibits defects in both growth and virulence, Front Microbiol. 10:1343. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01343. eCollection 2019.

Lukomski S., Bachert B. A., Squeglia F., and Berisio R. (2017). Collagen-like proteins of pathogenic streptococci. Mol Microbiol. 103(6):919-930. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13604.

Bachert B. A., Choi S. J., LaSala P. R., Harper T. I., McNitt D. H., Boehm D. T., Caswell C. C., Ciborowski P., Keene D. R., Flores A. R., Musser J. M., Squeglia F., Marasco D., Berisio R., and Lukomski S. (2016). Unique footprint in the scl1.3 locus affects adhesion and biofilm formation of the invasive M3-type group A Streptococcus. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 6:90. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2016.00090.

Bachert B. A., Choi S. J., Snyder A. K., Rio R. V. M., Durney B. C., Holland L. A., Amemiya K., Welkos S. L., Bozue J. A., Cote C. K., Berisio R., and Lukomski S. (2015). A unique set of the Burkholderia collagen-like proteins provides insight into pathogenesis, genome evolution and niche adaptation, and infection detection. PLOS One. 10(9):e0137578.

Flores A. R., Jewell B. E., Versalovic E. M., Olsen R. J., Bachert B. A., Lukomski S., and Musser J. M. (2015). Natural variant of collagen-like protein A in serotype M3 group a Streptococcus increases adherence and decreases invasive potential. Infect Immun. 83(3):1122-9.

Durney B. C., Bachert B. A., Sloane H. S., Lukomski S., Landers, J. P., and Holland L. A. (2015). Reversible phospholipid nanogels for DNA fragment size determinations up to 1,500 base pairs and integrated sample stacking. Anal Chim Acta. 880:136-44.

Squeglia F.‡, Bachert B.‡, De Simone A., Lukomski S., and Berisio R. (2014). The crystal structure of the streptococcal collagen-like protein 2 globular domain from invasive M3-type group A Streptococcus shows significant similarity to immunomodulatory HIV protein gp41. J Biol Chem. 289(8):5122-33.
‡These authors equally contributed to this work

Squeglia F, Bachert B, Romano M, Lukomski S, and Berisio R. (2013). Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of the variable domain of Scl2.3, a streptococcal collagen-like protein from invasive M3-type Streptococcus pyogenes. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 69(Pt 9):1023-5.

Oliver-Kozup H. A., Elliott M., Bachert B. A., Martin K. H., Reid S. D., Schwegler-Berry D. E., Green B. J., and Lukomski, S. (2011). The streptococcal collagen-like protein-1 (Scl1) is a significant determinant for biofilm formation by group A Streptococcus. BMC Microbiol. 11: 262.

Abstracts & Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings

Bachert B. A., Rodriguez S. A., Toothman R. G., Williams J. A., Graham C. L. B., Roper D. I., and Bozue, J. A. (2022). Targeting the cell wall of Francisella: Peptidoglycan remodeling enzymes are essential for cell morphology and virulence, and show potential for therapeutic targeting. 2022 Chemical and Biological Defense Science &Technology (CBD S&T) Conference, San Fransisco, CA.

Bachert B. A. (2022). Francisella tularensis Diversity Panel for Tularemia Vaccine Testing. Shoresh Conference, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD

Bachert B. A. (2022). Development, Phenotypic Characterization and Genomic Analysis of a Francisella tularensis Panel for Tularemia Vaccine Testing. Young Investigator Symposium, Spring Research Festival, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD

Bachert B. A., Bozue J. A., and Panchal R. G. (2021). Development of Slt and KdsD as therapeutic targets for Francisella tularensis. MCMC (Medical Countermeasures Consortium) conference. Virtual symposium

Bachert B. A. (2021). Identification of therapeutic targets and tools for vaccine development against Francisella tularensis. Invited speaker seminar, West Virginia University, Dept. of Microbiology, Morgantown, WV.

Bachert B. A., Chua J., Rodriguez S. A., Toothman R. G., Cote C. K., Klimko C. P., Hunter M., Shoe J. L., Williams J. A., Kuehl K. A., and Bozue J. A. (2019). A Francisella novicida mutant, lacking the soluble lytic transglycosylase slt, exhibits defects in both growth and virulence and provides protection against pneumonic challenge in mice. Spring Research Festival, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD

Bachert B. A., Biryukov S. S., Chua J., Rodriguez S. A., Toothman R. G., Cote C. K., Klimko C. P., Hunter M., Shoe J. L., Williams J. A., Kuehl K. A., Biot F. V., and Bozue J. A. (2019). A Francisella novicida mutant, lacking the soluble lytic transglycosylase slt, exhibits defects in both growth and virulence and provides protection against pneumonic challenge in mice. Presented at the Chemical and Biological Defense Science & Technology Conference, Cincinnati, OH and ASM Microbe, San Fransisco, CA

Bachert, B. A., Rodriguez S. A., Toothman R. G., Cote C. K., Klimko C. P., Hunter M., Shoe J. L., Biryukov S. S., Williams J. A., Kuehl K. A., and Bozue J. A. (2019). The peptidoglycan-remodeling enzyme, Slt, of Francisella: importance in cell division, virulence, and therapeutic targeting. USAMRIID Bacteriology Seminar Series, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD

Bachert B. A., Biot F. V., Toothman R. G., Nepal N., Coate E. A., Ladner J. T., Koroleva G. I., Lovett S. P., Palacios G. F., Worsham P. L., and Bozue J. A. (2018). Development of ciprofloxacin resistance in Francisella tularensis is accompanied by spontaneous mutations in LPS biosynthesis and transport Genes. Presented at the 9th International Conference on Tularemia, Montreal, CAN and ASM Microbe, Atlanta, GA

Bachert B. A., Biot F. V., Toothman R. G., Nepal N., Coate E. A., Ladner J. T., Koroleva G. I., Lovett S. P., Palacios G. F., Worsham P. L., and Bozue J. A. (2018). Development of ciprofloxacin resistance in Francisella tularensis is accompanied by spontaneous mutations in LPS biosynthesis and transport Genes. Spring Research Festival, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD

Bachert B. A., Choi S. J., and Lukomski, S. (2016). Unique null mutation in the scl1 gene interrupts adhesion and biofilm formation by the invasive M3-type group A streptococci. Pittsburgh Bacterial Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA

Bachert B. A., Choi S. J., and Lukomski, S. (2015). Unique scl1 polymorphisms provide insight into decreased biofilm capacity and invasive phenotype of M3-type group A Streptococcus. Alleghany Branch American Society for Microbiology Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA

Bachert B. A., Choi S. J., Durney B. C., Holland L. A., and Lukomski, S. (2014). Unique scl loci are associated with invasive M3-type group A Streptococcus. International Conference on Gram Positive Pathogens, Omaha, NE

Bachert B. A. and Lukomski S. (2014). Assessment of collagen-like genes as biomarkers for the detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei species. International Union of Microbiological Societies, Montreal, CAN

Bachert B. A. and Lukomski S. (2014). Towards portable pathogen detection: collagen-like genes as biomarkers for Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei species. Bioelectronics and Biosensing Symposium, Morgantown, WV

Bachert B. A. and Lukomski S. (2014). Burkholderia collagen-like proteins: towards decoding pathogenicity and genomic plasticity of select agents Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei. Pittsburgh Bacterial Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA

Bachert B. A., Elliott M., Oliver-Kozup H. A., Harper T., Zhang L., and Lukomski, S. (2013). Deficiencies in ECM binding and biofilm formation are associated with unusual streptococcal collagen-like protein 1 allele present in invasive M3-type group A Streptococcus. Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting, Wintergreen, VA

Bachert B. A. and Lukomski S. (2012). Analysis of genetic variation in Scl1 between differentially invasive strains of group A Streptococcus. Alleghany Branch American Society for Microbiology Meeting, University Park, PA