Annual Carleen Collins Lecture

Carleen Collins, Ph.D. (1955-2008)

Carleen M. Collins, Ph.D., prominent microbiologist and expert in microbial pathogenesis, passed away in February 2008.  This is an annual series presented in honor of her memory and accomplishments.

Carleen grew up in Woodland Hills, CA and graduated from Louisville High School in 1973. She received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology from UCLA, followed by postdoctoral training with Stanley Falkow at Stanford University School of Medicine.  As a Fulbright Scholar, Carleen studied at the University of Umea, Sweden. She rose to full professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine where she taught and established her microbiology research laboratory. In 2002, Carleen moved to Seattle, WA, and joined the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington.

Carleen's balance between humanity and scientific excellence was an inspiration to all, but especially graduate students and postdoctoral trainees.

The seventh annual Carleen Collins Lecture was given by Prof. Stephen Lory in Foege Hall on October 6, 2015.


"Genome-wide fitness profiling Pseudomonas aeruginosa – too many surprises, many questions and few answers"

Modern approaches of molecular biology, particularly exploitation of next generation sequencing technologies have provided an opportunity to study the complex interaction of bacterial pathogens with their hosts. Results of a series of experiments, using transposon site mapping (TnSeq) in studying the fitness of individual mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa within a pool of mutagenized cells in several infection models, will be presented. These studies of fitness and host adaptation uncovered novel virulence mechanisms, provided new insights into antibiotic resistance and the role of innate host defenses in controlling infections. Moreover, a group of small regulatory RNAs was identified and their role in controlling P. aeruginosa virulence was determined. Implications of findings generated by new tools of functional genomics in defining the roles of uncharacterized genes and their products will be also discussed.