Michael Kovach headshot

Department Chair, Biology & Geology
Professor
Ph.D., Louisiana State University Medical Center

Michael E. Kovach

Michael Kovach headshotChair, Biology and Geology Department
Professor

Ph.D., Louisiana State University Medical Center–Shreveport

Dr. Michael E. Kovach earned a Bachelor of Science from Baldwin Wallace University and a doctorate in microbiology from Louisiana State University Medical Center–Shreveport (now, Louisiana State University Health Science Center– Shreveport). His teaching responsibilities at Baldwin Wallace University include microbiology, immunology, freshman biology seminar and on occasion non-majors biology and sophomore biology seminar. Kovach's doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on bacterial pathogenesis–how bacteria are able to cause disease–and his post-doctoral work investigated the importance of DNA repair in intracellular survival of the Gram-negative pathogen Brucella abortus. 

His laboratory is currently investigating the importance of DNA repair on intracellular survival of the Gram-negative bacterium Brucella abortus. The laboratory is focused on determining the role of O6 methylguanine transferase (Ada), a gene product know to play a role in the adaptive response to alkylating damage in other microorganisms, in intracellular survival of the Brucellae.

Kovach is also interested in exploring new aspects of bacterial physiology, molecular biology and pathogenesis that are designed around the student’s specific area of interest.  Examples of these types of projects include student-initiated projects–summer scholars, faculty-student collaborative scholarship, campus internships and independent studies– exploring the role of metal ions in controlling microbial growth; the role of commercial air purifiers in controlling microbial growth; the efficacy of commercially available Leptospirosis vaccines for canines; the development of Ochrobactrum anthropi as a research model for Brucella spp.; the development of tolerance to biocides in microorganisms; determining the antimicrobial efficacy of a commercial cleaning cloth; determining the distribution of Wolbachia spp. across insect orders; surveying microbial populations in area waterways; and the isolation, purification and characterization of Erwinia spp. from the environment.

New areas of microbiology that are of interest to Kovach include the role of microorganisms in the process of bioremediation as well as projects that explore pathogens of plants.

Grant Support and Publications

Publications: 

Roux, CM, N.J. Booth, B.H. Bellaire, J.M. Gee, R. M. Roop II, M. E. Kovach, R.M. Tsolis, P.H. Elzer, D.G. Ennis. (2006). RecA and RadA proteins of Brucella abortus do not perform overlapping protective DNA repair functions following oxidative burst.  J. Bacteriology 188(14):5187-5195.

Gee, J.M., M.W. Valderas, M. E. Kovach, V. K. Grippe, G.T. Robertson, W.L. NG, J.M. Richardson, M.W. Winkler and R. M. Roop II. 2005. The Brucella abortus Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SodC) is required for optimal resistance to oxidative killing by murine macrophages and wild type virulence in experimentally infected mice. Infect. Immun. 73(5):2873-2880.

Gee, J.M., M. E. Kovach, V.K. Grippe, S. Haguis, J. V. Walker, P.H. Elzer, and R. M. Roop II. 2004. Role of catalase in the virulence of Brucella melitensis in pregnant goats. Veterinary Microbiology 102:111-115.

Robertson, G.T., M.E. Kovach, C. Allen, T.A. Ficht and R.M. Roop II. 2000. The Brucella abortus Lon functions as a generalized stress response protease and is required for wild-type virulence in BALB/c mice. Mol. Microbiol. 35(3):577-588.

Faculty-Student Collaborative Scholarship:

Alcala, A. and M.E.Kovach Subinhibitory Biocide Concentrations do not Confer Biocide Resistance in Escherichia coli. Ovation 2011.  Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio. May 2011

Billy, S.M. and M.E. Kovach. Mechanisms of DNA repair in Brucella.  Spring Science Poster Session 2007. Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio.  April 2007.

Moreno, S.E. and M.E. Kovach. Unlocking the pathogenesis of Brucella abortus through DNA repair. Bridges to Success in the Sciences Poster Session. Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Ohio. July 30, 2002.

Moreno, S.E, R.J. Braydich, M.E. Kovach. Cloning and complementation of the Brucella abortus O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (ada) involved in the adaptive response to alkylating DNA damage. Spring Science Poster Session. Baldwin Wallace University, Berea Ohio. April 2002.
 
Moreno, S.E and M.E. Kovach. Cloning and complementation of the Brucella abortus O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (ada) involved in the adaptive response to alkylating DNA damage. Bridges to Success in the Sciences Poster Session. Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Ohio.  April 26, 2002.

Grant Support/Funding:

2010       ----------------: “PaintShield Antimicrobial Coating” subcontract - $218,000

2010       BW Gund Summer Research & Publication Grant:  “Biocide Tolerance” - $2,159.20

2010       BW Gund Summer Student Research Grant:  “Biocide Tolerance” - $3,000

2009       ---------------: “PaintShield Antimicrobial Coating” subcontract - $193,720

2006       United States Biochemical Corp:  “Site directed mutagenesis field evaluation” - $500

2006       Baldwin Wallace University Gund Summer Student Research Grant:  “Functional analysis of the Brucella abortus ada in Escherichia coli” - $3,000

2003       Baldwin Wallace University Gund Summer Student Research Grant:  “Functional analysis of theBrucella abortus ada & alkA in Escherichia coli and the generation and characterization of Brucella abortus ada and alkA mutants” - $2,993

2000       Baldwin Wallace University Gund Summer Student Research Grant: “ Identification & isolation of theBrucella abortus Exonuclease III (xthA), Endonuclease IV (nfo) and Endonuclease V (nfi) genes. $3,000

2000       Baldwin Wallace University Gund Multi-media Grant: “Production of an Electronic Laboratory Manual for the Microbiology Course” - $1,000

1999 - 2001 The Alma M. & Harry R. Templeton Medical Research Foundation: “The Role of Brucella DNA Repair Enzymes in Brucella Pathogenesis” - $45, 000