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.

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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.


Feral Swine as Indirect Indicators of Environmental Anthrax Contamination and Potential Mechanical Vectors of Infectious Spores.
Maison RM, Priore MR, Brown VR, Bodenchuk MJ, Borlee BR, Bowen RA, Bosco-Lauth AM.Pathogens. 2023 Apr 20;12(4):622. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12040622. PMID: 37111508

Disruption of c-di-GMP Signaling Networks Unlocks Cryptic Expression of Secondary Metabolites during Biofilm Growth in Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Borlee GI, Mangalea MR, Martin KH, Plumley BA, Golon SJ, Borlee BR.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2022 Mar 31:e0243121. doi: 10.1128/aem.02431-21. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35357191

2-Aminoimidazoles Inhibit Mycobacterium abscessus Biofilms in a Zinc-Dependent Manner.
Belardinelli JM, Li W, Martin KH, Zeiler MJ, Lian E, Avanzi C, Wiersma CJ, Nguyen TV, Angala B, de Moura VCN, Jones V, Borlee BR, Melander C, Jackson M.
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 9;23(6):2950. doi: 10.3390/ijms23062950. PMID: 35328372

The NarX-NarL two-component system regulates biofilm formation, natural product biosynthesis, and host-associated survival in Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Mangalea MR, Borlee BR.
Sci Rep. 2022 Jan 7;12(1):203. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-04053-6. PMID: 34997073

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

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Brad Borlee, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator [PI]
Associate Professor

Eleah Flockhart

Graduate Researcher

Sam Golon

Graduate Researcher

Icon of a person on a green background.
Amr Ramadan

Graduate Researcher

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contact information

Office: Research Innovation Center (RIC) room D122

Lab: Research Innovation Center (RIC) room D143

(970) 492-4415