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Michael A. Fennewald, PhD

Michael A. Fennewald, PhD
Associate Professor

Microbiology and Immunology Discipline

Dr. Michael Fennewald received his BA from Carleton College in 1973 and his PhD in microbiology from the University of Chicago in 1979. He trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow in biochemistry at the University of Chicago from 1979-1981 and later joined the faculty of the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Fennewald joined the faculty of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 1988. He is a member of the American Society of Microbiology Sigma Xi and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.


Dr. Fennewald's research interests have been in the area of molecular genetics, especially in transposons and their role in the formation of antibiotic resistance plasmids. His research has been on the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in gram-negative bacteria. He also has an interest in transposons and site-specific recombination at the molecular level in a variety of systems.

Research on antibiotic resistance centers on the mechanisms responsible for high levels of resistance in a series of Ps. aeruginosa clinical isolates from Thailand. We have cloned ten different antibiotic resistance genes from one of these strains. Three are beta-lactamases, three are for aminoglycoside resistance, one is for rifampin resistance and one is for chloramphenicol efflux. We have studied the mechanisms by which these genes are transferred. Many are located on integrons within a transposon. We have studied the presence of these genes and integrons in clinical isolates from Southeast Asia.


  • Girlich D., T. Naas, A. Leelaporn, L. Poirel, M. Fennewald and P. Nordmann. "Nosocomial Spread of the Integron-Located VEB-1-like Cassette Encoding an Extended-Spectrum ß-Lactamase in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in Thailand," lin. Infectious Dis., 34:603-611, 2002.
  • Girlich, D., L. Poirel, A. Leelaporn , A. Karim, C. Tribuddharat, M. Fennewald and P. Nordmann. "Molecular Epidemiology of the Integron-Located VEB-1 Extended Spectrum ß-Lactamase in Nosocomial Enterobacteriaceae in Bangkok, Thailand," J. of Clinical Microbiol., 39:175-182, 2001.
  • Tribuddharat, C. and M. Fennewald. "Integron-mediated rifampin resistance in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa," Antimicro. Agents Chemo., 43:960-962, 1999.