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Troy Skwor, PhD

Assistant Professor


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 Therapy
  • Aeromonas
  • Chlamydia

Interests & Expertise

Troy Skwor’s research focuses on antibiotic resistance within different bacterial populations, especially a group of bacteria known as aeromonads. 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 severe forms of disease, like 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 resistant genes to other pathogenic bacteria. His studies utilize various molecular methods to detect antibiotic resistant mechanisms and their potential to be pathogenic to humans.

Another aspect of his research is studying alternative treatments against the bacterial populations with an emphasis on photodynamic therapy. This type of therapy uses a chemical, known as photosensitizers, in the presence of different wavelengths of light and oxygen, resulting in the production of reactive oxygen species capable of killing bacteria and cancer cells.

He has a strong interest in mentoring students and helping them develop thought processes to think empirically about the research projects, as well as life.

Selected Publications

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).
Skwor, T., & Kralova, S. (2019). Aeromonas. Michael P. Doyle, Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Colin Hill (Ed.). Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th. American Society for Microbiology.
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.
Skwor, T., & Dean, D. (2013). Chlamydiaceae. McKee, M. L., & de Filppis I (Eds.). Molecular Typing in Bacterial Infections. Humana Press, Inc.
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., Kandel, R. P., Basravi, S., Khan, A., Sharma, B., & Dean, D. (2010, October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). Characterization of Humoral Immune Responses to Chlamydial HSP60, CPAF, and CT795 in Inflammatory and Severe Trachoma. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science, 51(10), 5128.
Allen, S. S., Mackie, J. T., Russell, K., Jeevan, A., Skwor, T., & McMurray, D. N. (2008, September). Altered inflammatory responses following transforming growth factor-β neutralization in experimental guinea pig tuberculous pleurisy. Tuberculosis, 88(5), 430-436.
Atik, B., Skwor, T., Kandel, R. P., Sharma, B., Adhikari, H. K., Steiner, L., Erlich, H., & Dean, D. (2008, October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). Identification of Novel Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Inflammatory Genes as Risk Factors Associated with Trachomatous Trichiasis. Toland, Amanda Ewart (Ed.). PLoS ONE, 3(10), e3600.


Skwor, T. (January 2020). Antibiotic Resistance: From the Hospital Through the Wastewater Treatment Plant. , Rockford, IL.
Skwor, T. (November 2019). "Aero" of Time: A Story of Resistance. Milwaukee Microbiology Monthly Meeting, Freshwater Science Building.
Bojar, B., Beattie, R., Su, B., Williams, T., Munoz-Price, S., Hristova, K., & Skwor, T. (June 2019). Comparative Analysis of Antibiotic Resistance among Escherichia coli Isolates Within Hospital Wastewater and Throughout the Urban Wastewater Process. ASM Microbe 2019, San Francisco, CA.
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. (March 2014). Identifying Human Pathogenic Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria from Local Wastewater Post-Chlorinated Effluents Compared to Rock River: A Two Year Longitudal Study. Watercon, Springfield, IL.
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.
Skwor, T. (2013). Comparison of potentially pathogenic antibiotic resistant strains of Aeromonas bacteria within the Rockford Water Reclamation District and the local Rock River. Watercon Conference, Springfield, IL.
Skwor, T. (2011). Development of cheaper, easier and quicker molecular methods with computer software, DNAStar, to aid in determining bacterial identification for classroom application. Association of Biology Laboratory Education conference at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.
Schober, J., Delost, G., & Skwor, T. (2011). Prevention and Disruption of Biofilm of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeroginosa and Staphylococcus epidermidis by Aqueous Silver. , Boston, MA.
Zourelias, J., Wasson, C., & Skwor, T. (2010). Characterization of IL-6 Production between Upper and Lower Reproductive Tract Epithelial Cells Infected with Chlamydia trachomatis. , San Diego, CA.
Skwor, T. (2010). Characterizing phenotypic and molecular virulence factors in antibiotic resistant Aeromonads from Presque Isle Bay. , Erie, PA.
Skwor, T., Attarwala, A., Ghaffari, A., Xu, E., Dani, A., & Dean, D. (2009). Chlamydia trachomatis reference and clinical strain infection of primary stromal cells in a human endometrial explant system. Chlamydia Basic Research Symposium, Little Rock, AR.
Atik, B., Skwor, T., Kandel, R. P., Sharma, B., & Dean, D. (2008). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among inflammatory genes are associated with patients with trachomatous trichiasis. , .
Skwor, T., Atik, B., Kandel, R. P., Atakari, H. K., Sharma, B., & Dean, D. (2007). Conjunctival immune response in trachoma: Role of cytokines and chemokines in progressive stages of clinical disease. Bay Area Clinical Research Symposium, San Francisco, CA.

Recent Funded Grants

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois grant, 2018
“Lyme Ecology in Northern IL: From Voles to Birds to Humans”

Illinois Ornithological Society Grant, 2017
Looking at the role of birds in the transmission of Lyme disease

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”

Professional Memberships

  • American Society of Microbiology
  • International Photodynamic Association