Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2020


With the emerging antibiotic resistance, Staphylococcus aureus, primary causative agent of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) as well as other life-threatening conditions has become a global health concern. While factors contributing to host defense against S. aureus SSTIs has been well studied, impact of sex as a variable has not been reported. In Chapter 2, we uncover the sex-specific differences in host response to S. aureus SSTIs and the contribution of female sex hormone, estrogen (E2) in providing protection in females. In Chapter 3, we identify mechanisms of innate differences in neutrophils bactericidal efficacy between sexes and in Chapter 4, we report the protective role of G protein-coupled receptor (GPER) agonist, G-1 against S. aureus SSTIs. Because no vaccines against S. aureus has been approved yet, understanding the host defense mechanisms is important to identify potential targets for host-directed therapeutics to combat the ongoing antibiotic crisis.


Sex-bias, host-pathogen interactions, Staphylococcus aureus, Hla, neutrophils, estrogen and estrogen receptors

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Pamela R Hall

Second Committee Member

Eric R Prossnitz

Third Committee Member

Helen J Hathaway

Fourth Committee Member

Laurie G Hudson