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Swearingen, Matt (PhD)

Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Office: WH 0217
Phone: 239-745-4416

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2017 – Pres Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL
2016 – 2017 Assistant Professor of Biology, Tenure-track, Bethany College, Bethany, WV
2015 – 2016 Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, Bethany College
2014 – 2015 NIH/NIAID NRSA T32 Postdoctoral trainee fellow
Interdisciplinary Program in Microbe-Host Biology
2013 – 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow & Lab Manager, Paul Stoodley lab, The Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, OH
2013 Ph.D. Microbiology, OSU, Columbus, OH
2007 B.S. Biology, Bethany College, Bethany, WV

Research and Teaching Interests

My areas of interest include general microbiology and microbial pathogenesis.My research is aimed at developing and identifying preventative, diagnostic, and treatment tactics against bacterial biofilm infections. We generally model two medically important biofilm-formers, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Below are a few on-going research projects:

  • Identification and measurement of plant essential oils (and other compounds) with anti-biofilm activity
  • Determining the anti-planktonic and anti-biofilm cellular mechanisms of active plant essential oils (and other compounds) via microbiological and 3-D microscopy techniques
  • Modeling biofilm responses to changes in the catheter environment using a laboratory model system

Courses Offered

Recent Courses at FGCU
  • MCB 3020C – General Microbiology – 4 semester hours. A study of the structure, function and genetics of microorganisms, their relationships in natural and controlled environments emphasizing pathogenic bacteria and their hosts. Laboratory includes isolation, identification and culture techniques of microorganisms and their properties.
  • MCB 2010C – Microbiology w/ lab – 4 semester hours. Students study the biology of microorganisms. Structure, physiology and ecology of bacteria, algae, viruses, protozoa and lower fungi will be investigated.
  • MCB 4203C – Pathogenic Microbiology – 3 semester hours. The biological basis of infectious diseases including: bacterial infections, the principles of the host-parasite relationship, the pathogenic characteristics and virulence factors of microorganisms and the various modes of action of antimicrobial agents will be studied. The course material will be fully integrated with laboratory activities which are inquiry-based.
  • ISC 3120 – Scientific Process – 4 semester hours. Introduction to the philosophy, methodology and ethics of scientific practice via classroom discussion and literature review. Focus on philosophical and practical differences between physical & historical science; hypothesis generation and testing; experimental design; construction of a research proposal; composition of a scientific paper; oral presentation; and critical review.