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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Mark Hart Ph.D.

Microbiologist — Division of Microbiology

Mark Hart
Mark Hart, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7121

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 About  |  Publications 


Dr. Mark Hart earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from Ouachita Baptist University. He earned a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in microbiology from Oklahoma State University and Mississippi State University, respectively. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, he joined the laboratory of Dr. John J. Iandolo in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at Kansas State University as a National Institute of Health-supported postdoctoral fellow. After becoming a research assistant professor at Kansas State University, he joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as an assistant professor. In 2003, he joined the Division of Microbiology at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). Dr. Hart currently has an appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as an adjunct assistant professor.

Research Interests

To our knowledge, the protective effect of Lactobacillus against Staphylococcus aureus proliferation and subsequent exotoxin production in the vaginal environment has not been adequately addressed in literature. Studies are underway to examine the protective role of naturally occurring and bio-engineered strains of Lactobacillus against TSST-1-producing strains of S. aureus in both co-culture and simulated vaginal models. Given the propensity of S. aureus to acquire multiple antibiotic-resistance determinants and the continual rise in methicillin-resistant S. aureus both in the hospital and community environments, isolation and characterization of novel virulence factors expressed by S. aureus continues to be a major focus of our laboratory. In addition, other host-pathogen interactions such as S. aureus with the influenza virus in causing severe pneumonia are studied. We are also interested in elucidating the mechanisms that allow S. aureus to survive phagocytic attack by determining the role enzymes, such as catalase and superoxide dismutase, play in removing the toxic effects of oxygen radicals generated by the body's professional phagocytes.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
1986 – Present

South Central Branch of the ASM
2007 – Present

Randall Award Committee Member
2007 – Present

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
Associate Member (currently inactive)
1988 – Present

Selected Publications

A Naturally Occurring Point Mutation in the Hyaluronidase Gene (hysA1) of Staphylococcus aureus UAMS-1 Results in Reduced Enzymatic Activity.
Hu H., Liu H., Kweon O., and Hart M.E.  
Can. J. Microbiol. 2022, 68:31-43.

Virulence Characteristics of mecA-Positive Multidrug-Resistant Clinical Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci.
Chon J-W., Lee U.J., Bensen R., West S., Paredes A., Lim J., Khan S., Hart M.E., Phillips K.S., and Sung K.
Microorganisms. 2020, 8:659.

CYPminer: An Automated Cytochrome P450 Identification, Classification, and Data Analysis Tool for Genome Data Sets Across Kingdoms.
Kweon O., Kim, S-J., Kim J.H., Nho S.W., Bae D., Chon J., Hart M., Baek D-H., Kim Y-C., Wang W., Kim S-K., Sutherland J.B., and Cerniglia C.E. 
BMC Bioinformatics. 2020, 21:160.

Reduced Vancomycin Susceptibility and Increased Macrophage Survival in Staphylococcus aureus Strains Sequentially Isolated from a Bacteremic Patient During a Short Course of Antibiotic Therapy.
Basco M.D.S., Kothari A., McKinzie P.B., Revollo J.R., Agnihothram A., Azevedo M.P., Saccente M., and Hart M.E. 
J. Med. Microbiol. 2019, 68:848–859.

Draft Genome Sequences of Two Staphylococcus aureus Strains Isolated in Succession from a Case of Bacteremia.
Basco M., Revollo J., McKinzie P., Agnihothram S., Kothari A., Saccente M., and Hart M. 
Genome Announc. 2017, 5:e00259-17.

Infection of Murine Macrophages by Salmonella enterica Serovar Heidelberg Blocks Murine Norovirus Infectivity and Virus-Induced Apoptosis.
Agnihothram S, Basco M, Mullis L, Foley S, Hart M, Sung K., and Azevedo M.
PLoS One. 2015, 10(12):e0144911.

Staphylococcus aureus Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin-1 (TSST-1) Production and Lactobacillus Species Growth in a Defined Medium Simulating Vaginal Secretions.
Stingley R., Liu H., Mullis L., Elkins C., and Hart M.
J Microbiol Methods. 2014, 106:57-66.

Staphylococcus aureus Hyaluronidase is a CodY-Regulated Virulence Factor.
Ibberson C., Jones C., Singh S., Wise M., Hart M., Zurawski D., and Horswill A.
Infect Immun. 2014, 82(10):4253-64.

Evaluation of Virulence and Antimicrobial Resistance in Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Isolates from Humans and Chicken- and Egg-Associated Sources.
Han J., Gokulan K., Barnette D., Khare S., Rooney A., Deck J., Nayak R., Stefanova R., Hart M., and Foley S.
Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2013, 10(12):1008-15.

Hyaluronidase Expression and Biofilm Involvement in Staphylococcus aureus UAMS-1 and its sarA, agr and sarA agr Regulatory Mutants.
Hart M., Tsang L., Deck J., Daily S., Jones R., Liu H., Hu H., Hart M., and Smeltzer M.
Microbiology. 2013, 159(Pt 4):782-91.

Inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus by Lysostaphin-Expressing Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 in a Modified Genital Tract Secretion Medium.
Liu H., Gao Y., Yu L., Jones R., Elkins C., and Hart M.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011, 77(24):8500-8.

Influenza Virus Primes Mice for Pneumonia from Staphylococcus aureus.
Iverson A., Boyd K., McAuley J., Plano L., Hart M., and McCullers J.
J Infect Dis. 2011, 203(6):880-8.

Genotypic and Phenotypic Assessment of Hyaluronidase among Type Strains of a Select Group of Staphylococcal Species.
Hart M., Hart M., and Roop A.
Int J Microbiol. 2009, 2009:614371.

Lactobacillus-Mediated Inhibition of Clinical Toxic Shock Syndrome Staphylococcus aureus Strains and Its Relation to Acid and Peroxide Production.
Elkins C., Muñoz M., Mullis L., Stingley R., and Hart M.
2008, 14(5):261-7.

Relative Quantitative Comparisons of the Extracellular Protein Profiles of Staphylococcus Aureus UAMS-1 and its sarA, agr, and sarA agr Regulatory Mutants Using One-Dimensional Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis and Nanocapillary Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Tandem Mass Spectrometry.
Jones R., Deck J., Edmondson R., and Hart M.
J Bacteriol. 2008, 190(15):5265-78.

Contact Information
Mark Hart
(870) 543-7121
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