Dr. Amy Horneman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical and Research Technology with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, which are both in the School of Medicine. She received her B.S. in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1975 and worked for 10 years in clinical microbiology laboratories at the hospital, private and reference laboratory level in both Virginia and Maryland. She received her Masters Degree in Microbiology in 1990 from University of Maryland, College Park and worked in Clinical Microbiology at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland until she was hired as a Microbiology Instructor and then Assistant Professor at DMRT from September 1992 until December 1999. She completed the research for her PhD in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2001 and returned to teaching Microbiology at DMRT in the Fall of 2005. In addition, she is an active member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the Maryland Branch of ASM, where she served as Branch President from 2004-2005.
The two major areas of interests for Dr. Horneman have been the systematics and pathogenesis of the enigmatic aquatic microorganisms within the genus Aeromonas. Her Master's research work resulted in the discovery of three new motile species of Aeromonas and the publication of Aerokey II, a dichotomous key for the clinical laboratory identification of those species of Aeromonas most commonly associated with human disease. Her PhD research focused on examining a large collection from the entire genus using an MLST (multilocus sequence typing) approach. These two degrees have produced numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and resulted in Dr. Horneman being one of the world's foremost authorities on the isolation and identification of clinically significant aeromonads. She has organized and hosted the International Aeromonas/Plesiomonas Symposium, convened and been an invited speaker on this subject at numerous national and international meetings and is the current Chairperson of the Aeromonas Taxonomy Working Group. She is the PI on an NSF-funded grant that has just published the first full complete genome sequence of any Aeromonas isolate, namely the type strain Aeromonas hydrophila ATCC 7966. She is finishing a subaward research project on the prevalence and virulence significance of aeromonads in drinking water supplies with the American Water Works Research Foundation, and starting a new research project with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) on the prevalence and virulence significance of aeromonads in U.S. drinking water supplies. She is working towards using comparative genomics from the genome sequences of a number of different aeromonad strains representing all the different species within the genus to get a broader picture of the true bioremedition and disease-causing potential of these organisms.
Dr. Horneman is a full-time clinical educator of undergraduate students in Medical and Research Technology, where she teaches Clinical Microbiology, Medical Parasitology and Medical Mycology lecture/laboratory courses to the Medical Technology students and a Research and Design Course to Biotechnology Students. She is developing a Masters' Graduate Current Topics course on the Genomics and Bioinformatics of Bacterial Genomes with support from her NSF Aeromonas Grant. She is also one of the co-authors of both the laboratory manual and didactic textbook used by the DMRT students for their courses in Clinical Microbiology MEDT 472 and Parasitology and Mycology MEDT 471.
Lab Techniques and Equipment:
Phenotypic identification of Aeromonas isolates using conventional biochemical analyses and molecular identification and typing of Aeromonas isolates using MLST with housekeeping genes.