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Biology faculty member Dr. Amanda Brosnahan acted as editor for a volume on the topic of superantigens in the lab protocol series Methods in Molecular Biology, published by Springer. Dr. Brosnahan, who began teaching at Concordia University, St. Paul in 2013, worked extensively in the area of superantigens during her graduate and post-doctoral research.
Methods in Molecular Biology is a collection of laboratory protocols for working with superantigens, which are a specific type of bacterial toxin. Dr. Brosnahan was responsible for determining what types of protocols should be included, finding and contacting authors that were experts on each of those protocols, and then editing their chapters as they came in. She also wrote a chapter in the book.
“One of the coolest things about putting together this book was that I was able to work with authors from around the world (including India, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, and throughout the United States),” Dr. Brosnahan said.
Biology students taking classes from Dr. Brosnahan are familiar with superantigens as they are discussed extensively in her courses. In a new research course offered this spring students will look for superantigens as part of a project that will determine how many people on campus carry a specific bacterium in their noses or on their skin. If the bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus is found in a patient’s sample, the class will look to characterize it based on key factors, including whether or not it makes superantigens.
“We may even be able to utilize some of the protocols that are found in this book.” Dr. Brosnahan said.