Life Sciences

Assistant Professor
Program Director of Biomedical Technology and Health Sciences Bachelor's Programs 
Focus: Bacterial Pathogenesis

Speaker Request
Nicole Shakerley, PH.D., MB(ASCP)CM


  • PhD in Immunology & Microbial Disease/Nanoscale Science, SUNY Albany College of Nanoscale Science
  • Molecular Biology Certification, American Society for Clinical Pathology
  • B.S. in Medical Biotechnology, SUNY Upstate Medical University


  • General Biology I

  • General Biology II

  • Public Health Microbiology

  • Research Design

  • Independent Research


  • Elected Secretary of the Eastern New York Branch of the American Society for Biology
  • ACPHS Provost’s Technology Award (2017)
  • Society for Radical Biology and Medicine Young Investigator Award (2016)


Acinetobacter baumannii is a gram negative opportunistic pathogen that presents not only a nosocomial threat, but also specifically impacts military personnel deployed to overseas theatres of operation. The A. baumannii pan-genome contains a diverse armature of antibiotic resistance determinants and its genome plasticity has led to large strain differences that impart differences in persistence and virulence. Currently, multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter species account for more than 7,000 infections in the United States per year which may be exacerbated by the pathogen’s innate ability to evade host immune defenses.

Pathogens, including A. baumannii, resist the production of host-derived reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) through the upregulation of detoxifying enzymes of their antioxidant arsenal. In addition to their cytotoxic effector role, ROS/RNS also act as secondary messengers within host cells that can discreetly control cellular function.   Therefore, the constituents of a pathogens’ antioxidant repertoire not only protect it from oxidative stress but may also interfere with normal immune function thereby restricting mechanisms responsible for effective immunity. Several reports have indicated that the A. baumannii genome encodes for several antioxidant systems encompassing more than 11 separate proteins with the capability to detoxify most ROS/RNS species. Additionally, there have been studies indicating that mutation of key antioxidants, such as the catalase family members (katG and katE) or the superoxide dismutases, is detrimental to bacterial viability. Taken together we hypothesize that A. baumannii antioxidants modulate the intracellular redox environment to control host macrophage signaling and function. By identifying the bacterial redox factors that modulate host immune function we can develop novel therapeutic strategies to combat antibiotic resistant nature of this pathogen.




  1. Phelps CM, Ketter PM, Arulanandam BP, Malik M, Shakerley NL. Contribution of Thioredoxin A to Acinetobacter baumannii Virulence. ASM 53rd Annual Regional Meeting, Albany NY, October 16, 2018. 
  2. Phelps CM, Ketter PM, Arulanandam BP, Malik M, Shakerley NL. Contribution of Thioredoxin A to Acinetobacter baumannii Virulence. ASM Trainee Symposium, Albany NY, December 6, 2018
  3. McCaig WD, Patel PS, Sosunov SA, Shakerley NL, Smiraglia TA, Craft MM, Walker KM, Deragon MA, Ten VS, LaRocca TJ. Hyperglycemia potentiates a shift from apoptosis to RIP1-dependent necroptosis. Cell Death Discovery 2018 May 10;4:55. doi: 10.1038/s41420-018-0058-1. 
  4. Stote KS, Sweeney-Nixon MI, Kean T, Baer DJ, Novotny J, Shakerley NL, Chandrasekaran A, Carrico P, Melendez JA and Gottschall-Pass KT (2017) The effects of 100% wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) juice consumption on cardiometablic biomarkers: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in women with increased risk for type 2 diabetes. BMC Nutrition 3(45). DOI: 10.1186/s40795-017-0164-0
  5. McCarthy DA, Nazem AA, McNeilan J, Shakerley NL, Clark RR, Idelchik MD, Yigit, M and Melendez JA (2016) Nano Enhanced Matrix Metalloproteinase-Responsive Delivery Vehicles for Disease Resolution and Imaging. Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine 241(18):2023-32. DOI: 10.1177/1535370216662534
  6. LaRocca TJ, Sosunov SA, Shakerley NL, Ten VS, and Ratner AJ (2016) Hyperglycemic conditions prime cells for RIP-1 dependent programmed necrosis in a glycolysis dependent manner. Journal of Biological Chemistry 291(26):13753-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M116.716027
  7. Shakerley NL, Trebak M, Miller BA, Melendez JA (2015) Francisella tularensis catalase restricts host immune function by limiting calcium mobilization. Journal of Biological Chemistry 291(8)3871-81. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M115.706879
  8. Flaherty NL, Chandrasekaran A, Melendez JA (2015) Comparative analysis of redox and inflammatory properties of pristine nanomaterials and commonly used semiconductor manufacturing nano-abrasives. Toxicology Letters 239(3):205-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2015.09.025
  9. McCarthy DA, Ranganathan A, Subbaram A, Flaherty NL, Nilay Patel, Mohamed Trebak, Nadine Hempel, J. Andres Melendez (2013) Redox-control of the alarmin, Interleukin-1α. Redox Biology 1(1):218-225.  DOI: 10.1016/j.redox.2013.03.001
  10. Nicole L Flaherty, and J. Andres Melendez. Literature Review - "Prdx1 Inhibits Tumorigenesis via Regulating PTEN/AKT Activity." SFRBM Dot 2 (2009): 6.