Borlee Lab

The Borlee laboratory, as part of the Center for Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (CVID) and Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases(C4MInD) at Colorado State University, studies environmental sensing and regulation of bacterial behaviors in the context of host-pathogen interactions and host-associated bacterial communities. Biofilm formation is one such behavioral response that allows bacteria to survive stressful conditions in the environment and persist during chronic infections in humans. We study a variety of bacterial pathogens and endosymbionts of mosquitoes and midges. Our primary focus has been on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia pseudomallei as they are highly amenable to genetic, molecular, and developmental studies of biofilm formation and pathogenicity. The laboratory conducts research on the unanswered questions concerning the composition, function, and developmental control of biofilm matrix components and their role during infection of P. aeruginosa and B. pseudomallei. Some additional areas of research in the laboratory include c-di-GMP-mediated gene regulation, biofilm-associated disease, quorum sensing, antibiotic resistance, and development of strategies to prevent and treat infections (e.g. vaccines, drug therapies, and paratransgenic control of vector borne diseases).

research project

Building biofilms to study the functions of molecules that are unique to biofilm metabolism.

Developing biofilm as visualized with confocal microscopy.

research project

Develop paratransgenic approaches to interfere with viral replication

Goal: Characterize the microbiomes of arthropods (e.g. mosquitoes and midges) to develop paratransgenic approaches to alter vector competency.

research project

Understand and interfere with biofilm-associated infections

Goal: Characterize the growth, regulation, and physiology of biofilms and devise strategies to disrupt biofilm-associated infections.

view project
research project

Defend against Burkholderia pseudomallei infections

Goal: Develop a vaccine to prevent Burkholderia pseudomallei infections in addition to therapeutics to rapidly treat melioidosis in patients that become infected.


Complete Genome Sequences of Eight Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus Strains Isolated from Mares in Estrus with Endometritis.

Borlee GI, Lakin SM, Kapuscinski ML, Abdo Z, Stenglein MD, McCue PM, Borlee BR.
Microbiol Resour Announc. 2021 Jul;10(26):e0132120. doi: 10.1128/MRA.01321-20. Epub 2021 Jul 1.
PMID: 34197198

Identification of a PadR-type regulator essential for intracellular pathogenesis of Burkholderia pseudomallei.

McMillan IA, Norris MH, Zarzycki-Siek J, Heacock-Kang Y, Sun Z, Borlee BR, Hoang TT.
Sci Rep. 2021 May 17;11(1):10405. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-89852-7. PMID: 34001967

Burkholderia pseudomallei as an Enteric Pathogen: Identification of Virulence Factors Mediating Gastrointestinal Infection.

Sanchez-Villamil JI, Tapia D, Borlee GI, Borlee BR, Walker DH, Torres AG.
Infect Immun. 2020 Dec 15;89(1):e00654-20. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00654-20. Print 2020 Dec 15. PMID: 33106293

Busting biofilms: free-living amoebae disrupt preformed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Mycobacterium bovis biofilms.

Martin KH, Borlee GI, Wheat WH, Jackson M, Borlee BR.
Microbiology (Reading). 2020 Aug;166(8):695-706. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000933. Epub 2020 May 27. PMID: 32459167

A Chemical Counterpunch: Chromobacterium violaceum ATCC 31532 Produces Violacein in Response to Translation-Inhibiting Antibiotics.

Lozano GL, Guan C, Cao Y, Borlee BR, Broderick NA, Stabb EV, Handelsman J.
mBio. 2020 May 19;11(3):e00948-20. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00948-20. PMID: 32430474

more publications


Brad Borlee, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator [PI]
Associate Professor

Grace Borlee, Ph.D.

Research Scientist II

Abigail Fennell

Student Researcher
Boettcher Scholar

Paul O’Toole headshot.
Paul O'Toole


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