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(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Nancy D. Hanson, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)        

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Creighton University

Building: CRISS II

2500 California Plaza

Omaha, NE  68178


Phone:  402-280-5837

Fax:   402-280-1875 

E-mail: ndhanson@creighton.edu    



Primary Division:  A (Antimicrobial Chemotherapy)

Secondary Division:  H (Genetics & Molecular Biology)   



Gram-negative Pathogens: Multiple Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance 

This lecture topic explores the multiple pathways used by Gram-negative pathogens to become resistant to antibiotics.  These pathways include inactivating enzymes, target modifications, gene regulation of porins and efflux systems, and production of beta-lactamase genes.    


The Role Mobile Genetic Elements Play in the Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance

This topic explores the different types of mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons, insertion sequences, and integrons, and the mechanisms by which they enable a resistant phenotype. 


Molecular Diagnostics: Current and Future Applications for Detection of Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms

Phenotypic detection of antibiotic resistance, especially beta-lactam resistance, can be very difficult and time consuming to determine.  This lecture will explore PCR-based approaches for the identification of resistance mechanisms often missed during phenotypic detection in the clinical laboratory and the consequences to patient care.             


Gene Expression and Its Link to Antibiotic Resistance

This lecture will explore the many mechanisms of gene expression that influence the production of beta-lactamase genes.  These mechanisms include gene copy number, transcription initiation, RNA half-life, and protein production.  The lecture will focus on the multiple levels by which genes are controlled in Gram-negative pathogens and the methodologies used to evaluate these mechanisms and correlate those mechanisms with resistance patterns observed in clinical isolates.      



Dr. Nancy D. Hanson is Professor and Director of the Center for Research in Anti-Infectives and Biotechnology in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at Creighton University.  Her area of expertise involves the study of molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative organisms such as E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Her research explores two aspects of antibiotic resistance mechanisms: (1) the regulation of the genes involved in resistance and (2) the development of PCR-based diagnostic tests that can be used by clinical laboratories to detect resistance genes in clinical isolates.  She has published over 60 peer reviewed articles evaluating antibiotic resistant organisms and is an ad hoc reviewer for several major journals.  In 2007, Dr. Hanson was awarded researcher of the year by the Nebraska Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for her work on P. aeruginosa.  In 2008, Dr. Hanson was selected by the American Academy of Microbiology to participate in the steering committee to organize and chair one of three committees during an international colloquium of 30 scientists held in Annecy, France.  The task of the colloquium attendees was to put forth recommendations to address the world wide problem of the emergence of antibiotic resistant organisms.  These recommendations were published by the American Academy of Microbiology in 2009.


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters  



I became a member of ASM in 1984 during my Master’s Program in Microbiology.  My continued membership throughout my career attests to the value I see in belonging to ASM.  Over the years as a Professor at Creighton University, I have served as President of the Missouri Valley Branch and have repeatedly taken my students to regional and national ASM meetings.  I have participated in judging student presentations and talking to students and postdocs about their research and future career goals.  The regional meetings are special as they focus on students and postdocs giving them a chance to “bloom” in a friendly environment.  My students have certainly had this benefit in addition to hearing talks from Distinguished Lecturers; giving them perspective on all aspects of microbiology.  I have had the pleasure of training 12 graduate students in the last 18 years; 10 of whom were Ph.D. students.  Watching students mature as scientists has been one of the most satisfying parts of my career.  My research centers on molecular mechanisms involved in the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens and the development of molecular diagnostics for use in clinical laboratories with a wide range of important and exciting topics for presentation that I would be excited to share.  I enjoy teaching microbiology and over the years I have had the opportunity to give talks on my research all over the world.  I would love to expand that experience and reach out to students and postdocs who are truly the future of ASM.


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