WesternU Home » Faculty & Staff bios

Beatrice Saviola, PhD


Associate Professor of Microbiology

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

E-Mail: bsaviola@westernu.edu

Phone: 909-469-5373 | Join year: April 2002

Education

Ph.D., Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1997
B.S., Animal Science, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 1991

Education Experience

Post Doctoral Training, Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2001

Teaching Experience

Associate Professor, Western University of Health Sciences, COMP, Pomona, CA 2007–present
Assistant Professor, Western University of Health Sciences, COMP, Pomona, CA, 2002-2007

Courses

IDIT
Neurosensory
Blood and Lymphatics
Dermal
Musculoskeletal
Respiratory
Cardiovascular

Research Interest

General focus of Dr. Saviola's laboratory:
Regulation of a Virulence-Associated Acid Response to Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. The bacterium that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, can sense environmental stresses and resist them in order to survive in the body. Creating an acidic environment is one way the body controls bacterial infection. Bacteria can respond to this defense by altering the activity of many of their genes. I have identified in M. tuberculosis a gene, lipF, that is turned on in response to acid. I am studying the basis of this acid response, and anticipate it will provide the groundwork for the eventual identification of a general mechanism by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis can resist acidic stress. To this end I have defined a minimal DNA region upstream of the lipF gene which is transcriptionally upregulated by acidic stress. In addition, I am investigating a nearby gene, Rv3488, as its gene product binds to the lipF promoter region indicating that it may serve as a transcriptional regulator of acidic stress. Information about how virulent M. tuberculosis can respond to environmental stresses that commonly occur within the host could be used to develop therapies that target these mechanisms and make Mycobacterium tuberculosis more sensitive to the immune system's host defenses.

Research Grant

  • Potts Memorial Foundation,  Role of PhoP in lipF acid regulation. (PI) 6/09-6/11
  • Potts Memorial Foundation, Identification of Mediators of Acid Regulation in Mycobacterium smegmatis. (PI) 2007
  • Potts Memorial Foundation, Granulysin upregulated genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (PI) 2005
  • American Lung Association Biomedical Research Grant, A virulence related acid response in M. tuberculosis. (PI) 07/05-12/07
  • California Lung Association Research Supplement.  (PI) 07/05-12/07
  • NIH R03 AI54794, Characterization of an Acid Response of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (PI) 05/03-05/05
  • Potts Memorial Foundation, Identification of the plipF Transcriptional Regulator. (PI) 11/02-11/05
  • Mills Act Historic Preservation Grant 2003
  • Heiser Foundation, Adaptation of Recombinase-based in vivo expression technology for use in Mycobacteria.  (PI) 06/98-06/2000
  • University of Delaware Undergraduate Research Grant

Awards

Fulbright Fellowship, Rosario, Argentina, 2009

National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship, 1991

B.S. Animal Science, magna cum laude, with Distinction, University of Delaware, 1991

University of Delaware Senior Scholar, 1991

American Society of Animal Science Scholarship Award, 1990

Alpha Zeta Annual Freshman Award, University of Delaware, 1988

Member of Panel of Agricultural Science Scholarship Award, 1988

Agricultural Science Full Merit Scholarship, University of Delaware, 1987

Publication

Recent Publications:

  • Laetitia Richter, *Beatrice Saviola. (2012) The Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA binding protein Rv3488 binds to the intergenic region between Rv3488 and lipF. Gen Ther Mol Biol, 14, 24-29.
  • *Saviola, B., Felton, J. (2011) Acidochromogenicity is a common characteristic in nontuberculous mycobacteria. BMC Research Notes, 4:477, doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-466.
  • Devin Morris, Clare Donohou, Andrea Sipin, Steven Kung, Mesharee Franklin, John P. Murad, Fadi T. Khasawneh, Beatrice Saviola, Timothy Guilford and Vishwanath Venketaraman, Role of Cytokines and Chemokines in HIV Infection. AIDS / Book 1, InTech 2011.
  • *Beatrice Saviola, Response of Mycobacterial Species to an Acidic Environment. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis / Book 4, InTech 2011.
  • Dennis Gray, Beatrice Saviola, Timothy Guilford, and Vishwanath Venketaraman, Glutathione: Biochemistry, Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Implications. Nova Science Publishers, 2011.
  • *Saviola, B. (2010) All Stressed Out: Mycobacterial Responses to Stress. Current Research, Technology, and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. Microbiology Book Series Edition. Mendez-Vilas, A. Editor.
  • Kandpal R, Saviola B and Felton J. The era of 'omics unlimited. Biotechniques. 2009 Apr;46(5):351-2, 354-5.
  • Saviola B. Phage L5 Integrating Vectors Are Present Within the Mycobacterial Cell in An Equilibrium Between Integrated and Excised State. 2009 Cancer Therapy 7:1-8
  • Gonzales M and Saviola B. Mutational analysis of the -10 region from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipF promoter. Mol Biol Rep. 2009 Jul;36(6):1225-9.
  • Richter L and Saviola B. The lipF promoter of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is upregulated specifically by acidic pH but not by other stress conditions. Microbiol Res. 2009;164(2):228-32.
  • Richter L, Tai W, Felton J, and Saviola B. Determination of the minimal acid-inducible promoter region of the lipF gene from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Gene. 2007 Jun 15;395(1-2):22-8.
  • Saviola B and Bishai WR. Method to Intergrate Multiple Plasmids into the Mycobacterial Chromosome. Nucleic Acids Res. 2004 Jan 12;32(1):e11.
  • Saviola B and Bishai W. Isolation of Acid Induced Genes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis using Recombinase-based in vivo Expression Technology. Infection and Immunity, 2003; 71( 3):1379-1388.
  • Saviola B, Seabold R and Schleif R. Domain-Domain interactions in AraC. Journal of Molecular Biology 1998; 278(3)539-548.

*Corresponding author


Poster Presentations:

  • Saviola B. Poster: Induction of the Minimal lipF Promoter by Low Oxygen Tension, ASM General Meeting, San Diego CA, 2010
  • Saviola B. Acid induced Chromogenicity in Mycobacteria, US-Japan Conference on Tuberculosis and Leprosy, Baltimore, MD., 2008
  • Saviola B. Mutational Analysis of the -10 Region of the M. tuberculosis lipF promoter. ASM General Meeting, Boston, MA., 2008
  • Saviola B and Richter L. The Acid Inducible LipF from Mycobacterium tuberculosis localizes to the Cell Wall/ membrane Fraction of the Bacterium. Keystone Symposia: Tuberculosis: From Lab Research to Field Trials. Vancouver, British Columbia, 2005
  • Saviola B and Richter L. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis promoter lipF is induced at a pH encountered in macrophages. US Japan Meeting on Tuberculosis, Seattle Washington, 2005
  • Saviola B and Miller L. LipF is an Acid Inducible Lipase. Keystone Symposia on Tuberculosis, Whistler British Columbia, Canada, 2005
  • Miller L and Saviola B. Identification of the minimal acid inducible promoter region of lipF of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. California State Graduate Student Conference, Los Angeles California, 2005

Invited Talks:

  • Saviola B. Stressed Out Bacteria, Western University-Charles Drew University Cooperative Retreat, Los Angeles, CA, 2008
  • Saviola B. Chromogenicity in Mycobacteria, Johns Hopkins University Department of Biology, Baltimore, MD., 2008
  • Saviola B. A Virulence Associated Acid Response in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Novartis Research Institute. Siena, Italy, 2008
  • Saviola B. LipF, an Acid Induced Esterase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Institute Pasteur, Paris, France, 2008
  • Saviola B. Address, Dedication of the Carvel Research Center, University of Delaware, Georgetown Delaware, 2006
  • Saviola B. An acid inducible lipase of M. tuberculosis is involved in virulence. California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles California, 2006