Portrait of Troy Skwor

Troy Skwor, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences


Postdoctoral Fellow Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute
Ph D Medical Sciences Texas A&M University College of Medicine
BS Medical Microbiology and Immunology University of Wisconsin–Madison

Speaker Topics

  • Antibiotic Resistance
  • Photodynamic Inactivation
  • Aeromonas

Interests & Expertise

Troy Skwor’s research focuses on antibiotic resistance within different bacterial populations, especially within Aeromonas species. These bacteria are found ubiquitously in nature, especially in freshwater ecosystems. However, they have been associated with a wide array of human diseases ranging from diarrhea to wound infections to more severe forms of disease, including necrotizing fasciitis. Besides being ubiquitous in nature, the rapid acquisition of antibiotic resistance against a broad array of antibiotics can present a clinical challenge. Additionally, it can serve as a vehicle to transfer antibiotic resistance genes to other pathogenic bacteria. Due to the bacterial presence in aquatic ecosystems, various foods, wastewater, and humans, his research uses Aeromonas as an indicator species to further understand the driving forces behind antimicrobial resistance. 

Another aspect of his research is studying alternative treatments against bacterial populations with an emphasis on photodynamic inactivation. This type of therapy uses a chemical, known as photosensitizer, in the presence of different wavelengths of visible light and oxygen, to produce reactive oxygen species capable of killing bacteria, including multi-drug resistant strains.  

He has a strong interest in mentoring students and helping them develop their critical thinking skills.  

Selected Publications

Liedhegner, E. S., Bojar, B., Beattie, R., Cahak, C., Hristova, K., & Skwor, T. (2022, February). Similarities in virulence and extended spectrum beta-lactamase gene profiles among cefotaxime-resistant Escherichia coli wastewater and clinical isolates. Antibiotics/MDPI, 11(2), 260-278.
Bojar, B., Sheridan, J., Beattie, R., Cahak, C., Liedhegner, E., Munoz-Price, L., Hristova, K., & Skwor, T. (2021, September). Antibiotic resistance patterns of Escherichia coli isolates from the clinic through the wastewater pathway e clinic through the wastewater pathway. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 238, 113863-113873.
Heffron, J., Bork, M., Meyer, B., & Skwor, T. (2021, March). A comparison of porphyrin photosensitizers in photodynamic inactivation of RNA and DNA bacteriophages. Viruses, 13(3), 530.
Leviskas, B., Valyi-Nagy, T., Munirathinam, G., Bork, M., Valyi-Nagy, K., & Skwor, T. (2020, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Metalloporphyrin Pd(T4) Exhibits Oncolytic Activity and Cumulative Effects with 5-ALA Photodynamic Treatment against C918 Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(2), 669.
Skwor, T., Stringer, S., Haggerty, J., Johnson, J., Duhr, S., Johnson, M., Seckinger, M., & Stemme, M. (2020, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Prevalence of Potentially Pathogenic Antibiotic-Resistant Aeromonas spp. in Treated Urban Wastewater Effluents versus Recipient Riverine Populations: a 3-Year Comparative Study. Elkins, Christopher A. (Ed.). Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 86(3).
Gheewala, T., Skwor, T., & Munirathinam, G. (2018, March). Photodynamic therapy using pheophorbide and 670 nm LEDs exhibits anti-cancer effects in-vitro in androgen dependent prostate cancer. Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy, 21, 130-137.
Gheewala, T., Skwor, T., & Munirathinam, G. (2017, May). Photosensitizers in prostate cancer therapy. Oncotarget, 8(18).
Skwor, T., Klemm, S., Zhang, H., Schardt, B., Blaszczyk, S., & Bork, M. A. (2016, December). Photodynamic inactivation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli: A metalloporphyrin comparison. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 165, 51-57.
Skwor, T., Shinko, J., Augustyniak, A., Gee, C., & Andraso, G. (2014, February). Aeromonas hydrophila and Aeromonas veronii Predominate among Potentially Pathogenic Ciprofloxacin- and Tetracycline-Resistant Aeromonas Isolates from Lake Erie. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80(3), 841-848.
Wasson, C. J., Zourelias, J. L., Aardsma, N. A., Eells, J. T., Ganger, M. T., Schober, J. M., & Skwor, T. (2012). Inhibitory effects of 405 nm irradiation on Chlamydia trachomatis growth and characterization of the ensuing inflammatory response in HeLa cells. BMC Microbiology, 12(1), 176.


Skwor, T. (June 2022). Antibiotic resistance patterns of Escherichia coli isolates from the clinic through the wastewater pathway.. 32nd Annual Congress of the French Society on Hospital Hygiene, Lyons, France.
Skwor, T. (June 2021). From the clinic to the final wastewater effluent: A comparison of antibiotic resistance among Escherichia coli isolates and a culture-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing approach. 4th International Caparica Conference in Antibiotic Resistance, Caparica, Portugal.
Skwor, T. (January 2020). Antibiotic Resistance: From the Hospital Through the Wastewater Treatment Plant. University of Illinois - Rockford College of Medicine Seminar Series, Rockford, IL.
Skwor, T. (November 2019). "Aero" of Time: A Story of Resistance. ASM Milwaukee Microbiology Seminar Series, Milwaukee, WI.
Skwor, T., Avery, H., Leviskas, B., Bork, M., Valyi-Nagy, T., & Valyi-Nagy, K. (June 2017). Novel metalloporphyrin demonstrates strong oncolytic activity against melanoma cells in two- and three-dimensional cultures. 16th Annual International Photodynamic Association World Congress, Coimbra, Portugal.
Skwor, T. (June 2014). A. veronii and A. hydrophila predominate among multi‐drug resistant, cytotoxic isolates from human wastewater effluents and local riverine ecosystems. 11th International Symposium on Aeromonas and Plesiomonas, Montpellier, France.
Skwor, T., Haggerty, J., Johnson, J., Fomina, C., Stringer, S., Johnson, M., & McFall, L. (2013). Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistant Aeromonas: A Comparison Between the Rock River and the Rock River Water Reclamation District. 86th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, Chicago, IL.

Recent Funded Grants

DoD SBIR Award: Improved Technology to Treat Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections, 2022 (Phase I: $52,000) 

Clinical & Translational Science Institute Biostatistical Consulting mini-grant, 2022   

Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies (IAWA) Water Quality Sub Committee grant, 2013
“Determining prevalence of antibiotic resistance among potentially pathogenic strains of bacteria from influent and effluent of wastewater treatment plant compared to receiving aquatic reservoir”, $8,000

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Microbiology
  • International Photodynamic Association
  • Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society