Courses: General Microbiology (BIO 380), Medical Microbiology (BIO448)
Research Interests: Microbiology and Immunology
I currently have three active research projects. One interdisciplinary project (with RobertMcKown, Ph.D., ISAT) focuses on lacritin, a protein found in tears. Dry eye is an underdiagnosed and poorly understood disease that affects the quality of life of over 25 million Americans. Lacritin is a natural human tear protein that is prosecretory, mitogenic and with cleavage, antimicrobial, and several small trials suggest that lacritin may be down-regulated in patients suffering from dry eye. My focus is in developing a sensitive, quantitative assay to determine the amount of lacritin in tears. This assay can then be used to compare lacritin levels in healthy vs diseased individuals, and individuals pre- and post-LASIK eye surgery.
Another interdisciplinary project (with Kevin Caran, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, JMU, and Kevin Minbiole, Ph.D., Chemistry and Biochemistry, Villanova Universtiy) involves synthesizing biscationic bicephalic amphiphiles and testing them for antimicrobial activity. Wewill also investigate the structure dependence and mechanism of antimicrobial activity of the synthesized compounds. A more comprehensive description of the project can be found at http://csma31.csm.jmu.edu/chemistry/faculty/minbiole/amphiphiles.htm.
The third ongoing project involves science education. I’m interested in how differing pedagogy and classroom experiences influence learning in General Microbiology. I’ll be conducting an experiment implementing active learning in General Microbiology in the spring of 2011.
Seifert K, Gandia NC, Wilburn JK, Bower KS, Sia RK, Ryan DS, Deaton ML, Still KM, Vassilev VC, Laurie GW, McKown RL. (2012) Tear Lacritin Levels by Age, Gender, and Time of Day in Healthy Adults. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 53(10) 6610-6616.
Grenier, M. C., Davis, R. W., Wilson-Henjum, K. L., Ladow, J. E., Black, J. W., Caran, K. L., Seifert, K., and Minbiole, K. P. C. (2012). The antibacterial activity of 4,4′-bipyridinium amphiphiles with conventional, bicephalic and gemini architectures. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 22(12), 4055-4058.
LaDow, J.E., Warnock, D.C., Hamill, K.M., Simmons, K.L., Davis, R.W., Schwantes, C.R.,Flaherty, D.C., Willcox, J.A.L., Wilson-Henjum, K., Caran, K.L., Minbiole, K.P.C., and K.Seifert. (2011) Bicephalic amphiphile architecture affects antibacterial activity. Eur. J. Med.Chem. 9: 4219-4226.
Seifert, K., A. Fenster, J.A. Dilts, and L. Temple. (2009) An Investigative, Cooperative LearningApproach to the General Microbiology Laboratory. Cell Biol. Educ. 8: 147-153.
Seifert K., C.A. Hurney, C.J. Wigtil, and D.L. Sundre (2009) Using the Academic SkillsInventory to Assess the Biology Major. Assessment Update. 21: 1-2, 14-15.
Seifert, K.N., Adderson E.E., Whiting, A.A., Bohnsack, J.F., Crowley, P.J. and Brady, L.J.(2006) A unique serine-rich repeat protein (Srr-2) and novel surface antigen (ε) associated with avirulent lineage of serotype III Streptococcus agalactiae. Microbiology 152: 1029-1040.
Seifert, K.N., McArthur, W.P., Bleiweis, A.S., and Brady, L.J. (2003) Characterization of groupB streptococcal glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase: surface localization, enzymaticactivity, and protein-protein interactions. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 49: 350-356.
Dorn, B.R., Burks, J.N., Seifert, K.N., and Progulske-Fox, A. (2000) Invasion of endothelial andepithelial cells by strains of Porphyromonas gingivalis. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 187: 139-144.
Munce, T., Seifert, K., and Spencer, C.N. 1998. Comparative energy flow to the fish communityin a prairie system and a forested stream using growth rate and stable isotope analysis. Proc. S.D.Acad. Sci. 77: 29-40.