Katherine Rhodes

Assistant Professor, BIO5 Institute
Assistant Professor, Immunobiology

Dr. Rhodes received her PhD in microbiology from Colorado State University where she studied the regulation of antimicrobial resistance in Burkholderia pseudomallei under the mentorship of Dr. Herbert Schweizer. For her postdoctoral training, Dr. Rhodes joined the lab of Dr. Maggie So at the University of Arizona, where she studied commensalism in the Neisseria genus. Dr. Rhodes joined the Immunobiology department as an Assistant Professor in 2023.

Research Interests

The overall goal of the lab is to decipher how bacteria in the Neisseria genus adapt to their hosts.  Our research uses animal and tissue culture models, microscopy, and biochemical and genetic approaches to investigate the mechanisms driving Neisseria survival in inhospitable host environments. Answering this basic science question may one day lead to new therapeutic measures which reduce the burden of pathogenic Neisseria on human health.

Recent Publications


Rhodes, K. A., M. A. Rendón, M. Cheong Ma, A. Agellon, A. C. E. Johnson, and M. So, "Type IV pilus retraction is required for colonization and persistence in a natural mouse model of infection.", mBio, vol. 15, issue 1, pp. e0279223, 2024 Jan 16. PMCID: PMC10790696  PMID: 38084997


Rhodes, K. A., M. Cheong Ma, M. A. Rendón, and M. So, "Neisseria genes required for persistence identified via in vivo screening of a transposon mutant library.", PLoS Pathog, vol. 18, issue 5, pp. e1010497, 2022 May. PMCID: PMC9140248  PMID: 35580146
Ogunbunmi, E. T., S. D. Love, K. A. Rhodes, A. Morales, M. H. Wilch, J. Jonas, and B. A. Fane, "Low-Temperature Adaptation Targets Genome Packing Reactions in an Icosahedral Single-Stranded DNA Virus.", J Virol, vol. 96, issue 7, pp. e0197021, 2022 Apr 13. PMCID: PMC9006916  PMID: 35285686


Rhodes, K., M. Ma, and M. So, "A Natural Mouse Model for Neisseria Persistent Colonization.", Methods Mol Biol, vol. 1997, pp. 403-412, 2019. PMID: 31119636


Ma, M., D. A. Powell, N. J. Weyand, K. A. Rhodes, M. A. Rendón, J. A. Frelinger, and M. So, "A Natural Mouse Model for Neisseria Colonization.", Infect Immun, vol. 86, issue 5, 2018 05. PMCID: PMC5913851  PMID: 29440372
Rhodes, K. A., N. Somprasong, N. L. Podnecky, T. Mima, S. Chirakul, and H. P. Schweizer, "Molecular determinants of Burkholderia pseudomallei BpeEF-OprC efflux pump expression.", Microbiology (Reading), vol. 164, issue 9, pp. 1156-1167, 2018 Sep. PMCID: PMC6230764  PMID: 30024368


Podnecky, N. L., K. A. Rhodes, T. Mima, H. R. Drew, S. Chirakul, V. Wuthiekanun, J. M. Schupp, D. S. Sarovich, B. J. Currie, P. Keim, et al., "Mechanisms of Resistance to Folate Pathway Inhibitors in : Deviation from the Norm.", mBio, vol. 8, issue 5, 2017 Sep 05. PMCID: PMC5587915  PMID: 28874476


Rhodes, K. A., and H. P. Schweizer, "Antibiotic resistance in Burkholderia species.", Drug Resist Updat, vol. 28, pp. 82-90, 2016 Sep. PMCID: PMC5022785  PMID: 27620956


Podnecky, N. L., K. A. Rhodes, and H. P. Schweizer, "Efflux pump-mediated drug resistance in Burkholderia.", Front Microbiol, vol. 6, pp. 305, 2015. PMCID: PMC4396416  PMID: 25926825