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Beatrice Saviola, PhD

Beatrice Saviola, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology;Fulbright Campus Representative

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

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



    Blood and Lymphatics






    MSMS Microbiology Course

  • 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
    • Fulbright Fellowship, Rosario, Argentina, 2009
    • 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 Specialist Roster Member 2016-2021

    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

  • Publications

    Recent Publications:

    • Venketaraman V, Kaushal D, Saviola B. (2015) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:857598. doi:10.1155/2015/857598.
    • Morris D, Guerra C, Khurasany M, Guilford F, Saviola B, Huang Y, Venketaraman B. (2013) Glutathione supplementation improves macrophage functions in HIV. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2013 May;33(5):270-9. doi:10.1089/jir.2012.0103.
    • Morris D, Khurasany M, Nguyen T, Kim J, Guilford F, Mehta R, Gray D, Saviola B, Venketaraman B. (2013) Glutathione and Infection. Biochem Biophys Acta. 2013 May;1830(5):3329-49. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.10.012
    • 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.

    *Corresponding author

    Poster Presentations:

    • Saviola B. Acid Induced Overexpression of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Rv3488 Gene Effects Pigment Production in Mycobacterium Smegmatis ASM General Meeting, Boston, June 16-20, 2016.
    • Nam Pham, Saviola B. Use of an Acid Inducible Promoter in an Expression Vector to Differentially Express Potentially Toxic Mycobacterial Proteins. Host Responses in Tuberculosis, Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 22-27, 2015.
    • Wen Yuan Yu, Saviola B. Rv3488 Promoter Expression in Presence of Salicycle Acid in Mycobacterium Smegmatis. Western Student Medical Research Forum, January 27-29, 2015, Carmel, CA.
    • Nam Pham, Saviola B. Overexpression of Rv3488 in M. smegmatis. Western Student Medical Research Forum, January 27-30, 2015, Carmel CA.
    • Nam Pham, Saviola B. Overexpression of Rv3488 in Mycobacterium Smegmatis through Acid Induction. Southern California Branch-American Society for Microbiology, October 11, 2104, San Diego, C,. USA.
    • 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. The Novel Identification of Acidochromogenesis in Nontuberculous Mycobacteria. Southern California Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. 2010.
    • Saviola B. Mycobacterial Responses to and Acidic Environment. AOA 115th Annual Osteopathic, San Francisco, CA. 2010.
    • Saviola B. Responses of M.Tuberculosis to a Phagosomal Acidic Environment Encounters within Macrophages. BIT Life Sciences 1st Annual World Congress on Immunodiseases and Therapy, Beijing, China, 2010.
    • Saviola B. Acid Responses in Mycobacteria. South American Society for Tuberculosis and other Mycobacterioses. Slam TB Meeting, Rosario, Argentina, 2009.
    • Saviola B. Mycobacterial Responses to Acidic Stress, AraC Transcriptional Regulator Meeting, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland. 2009.
    • 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