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Karen Beenken

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
DepartmentMicrobiology And Immunology, College of Medicine
Address541A-2 Biomedical Research II
4301 W Markham St.
Mail Slot # 511
Little Rock AR 72205
Phone501-686-8217
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    Collapse Research 
    Collapse research activities and funding
    R01AI119380     (SMELTZER, MARK S)Jun 15, 2015 - Aug 31, 2026
    NIH
    Impact of Staphylococcus aureus in osteomyelitis and bone physiology
    Role: Co-Investigator

    P20GM103625     (SMELTZER, MARK S)Aug 15, 2012 - Apr 30, 2022
    NIH
    Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Responses
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R56AI093126     (SMELTZER, MARK S)Sep 1, 2011 - Aug 31, 2014
    NIH
    A nanotherapeutic approach to combat staphylococcal biofilm-associated infection
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R56AI074935     (SMELTZER, MARK S)Jul 1, 2007 - Jul 31, 2015
    NIH
    Regulation of biofilm formation in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R01AI074935     (SMELTZER, MARK S)Jul 1, 2007 - Jun 30, 2013
    NIH
    Regulation of biofilm formation in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R01AI069087     (SMELTZER, MARK S)Feb 1, 2007 - Jul 31, 2013
    NIH
    Detection, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal infection
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions. Don't see publications published under other names? Login to add alternative names.
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    1. Rom JS, Beenken KE, Ramirez AM, Walker CM, Echols EJ, Smeltzer MS. Limiting protease production plays a key role in the pathogenesis of the divergent clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus LAC and UAMS-1. Virulence. 2021 12; 12(1):584-600. PMID: 33538230.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Beenken KE, Campbell MJ, Ramirez AM, Alghazali K, Walker CM, Jackson B, Griffin C, King W, Bourdo SE, Rifkin R, Hecht S, Meeker DG, Anderson DE, Biris AS, Smeltzer MS. Evaluation of a bone filler scaffold for local antibiotic delivery to prevent Staphylococcus aureus infection in a contaminated bone defect. Sci Rep. 2021 05 13; 11(1):10254. PMID: 33986462.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Alkam D, Jenjaroenpun P, Ramirez AM, Beenken KE, Spencer HJ, Smeltzer MS. The Increased Accumulation of Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Factors Is Maximized in a purR Mutant by the Increased Production of SarA and Decreased Production of Extracellular Proteases. Infect Immun. 2021 03 17; 89(4). PMID: 33468580.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Harrison ZL, Pace LR, Brown MN, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Bumgardner JD, Haggard WO, Amber Jennings J. Staphylococcal infection prevention using antibiotic-loaded mannitol-chitosan paste in a rabbit model of implant-associated osteomyelitis. J Orthop Res. 2021 11; 39(11):2455-2464. PMID: 33470467.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Ramirez AM, Beenken KE, Byrum SD, Tackett AJ, Shaw LN, Gimza BD, Smeltzer MS. SarA plays a predominant role in controlling the production of extracellular proteases in the diverse clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus LAC and UAMS-1. Virulence. 2020 12; 11(1):1738-1762. PMID: 33258416.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Rom JS, Ramirez AM, Beenken KE, Sahukhal GS, Elasri MO, Smeltzer MS. The Impacts of msaABCR on sarA-Associated Phenotypes Are Different in Divergent Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. Infect Immun. 2020 01 22; 88(2). PMID: 31740526.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Ramirez AM, Byrum SD, Beenken KE, Washam C, Edmondson RD, Mackintosh SG, Spencer HJ, Tackett AJ, Smeltzer MS. Exploiting Correlations between Protein Abundance and the Functional Status of saeRS and sarA To Identify Virulence Factors of Potential Importance in the Pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus Osteomyelitis. ACS Infect Dis. 2020 02 14; 6(2):237-249. PMID: 31722523.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Byrum SD, Loughran AJ, Beenken KE, Orr LM, Storey AJ, Mackintosh SG, Edmondson RD, Tackett AJ, Smeltzer MS. Label-Free Proteomic Approach to Characterize Protease-Dependent and -Independent Effects of sarA Inactivation on the Staphylococcus aureus Exoproteome. J Proteome Res. 2018 10 05; 17(10):3384-3395. PMID: 30209945.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Meeker DG, Wang T, Harrington WN, Zharov VP, Johnson SA, Jenkins SV, Oyibo SE, Walker CM, Mills WB, Shirtliff ME, Beenken KE, Chen J, Smeltzer MS. Versatility of targeted antibiotic-loaded gold nanoconstructs for the treatment of biofilm-associated bacterial infections. Int J Hyperthermia. 2018 03; 34(2):209-219. PMID: 29025325.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Wells CM, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Courtney HS, Jennings JA, Haggard WO. Ciprofloxacin and Rifampin Dual Antibiotic-Loaded Biopolymer Chitosan Sponge for Bacterial Inhibition. Mil Med. 2018 03 01; 183(suppl_1):433-444. PMID: 29635619.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Boles LR, Awais R, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Haggard WO, Jessica AJ. Local Delivery of Amikacin and Vancomycin from Chitosan Sponges Prevent Polymicrobial Implant-Associated Biofilm. Mil Med. 2018 03 01; 183(suppl_1):459-465. PMID: 29635622.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Rom JS, Atwood DN, Beenken KE, Meeker DG, Loughran AJ, Spencer HJ, Lantz TL, Smeltzer MS. Impact of Staphylococcus aureus regulatory mutations that modulate biofilm formation in the USA300 strain LAC on virulence in a murine bacteremia model. Virulence. 2017 11 17; 8(8):1776-1790. PMID: 28910576.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Harris MA, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Haggard WO, Jennings JA. Phosphatidylcholine Coatings Deliver Local Antimicrobials and Reduce Infection in a Murine Model: A Preliminary Study. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2017 Jul; 475(7):1847-1853. PMID: 28050817.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Berretta JM, Jennings JA, Courtney HS, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Haggard WO. Blended Chitosan Paste for Infection Prevention: Preliminary and Preclinical Evaluations. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2017 Jul; 475(7):1857-1870. PMID: 28097503.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Rhodes CS, Alexander CM, Berretta JM, Courtney HS, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Bumgardner JD, Haggard WO, Jennings JA. Evaluation of a chitosan-polyethylene glycol paste as a local antibiotic delivery device. World J Orthop. 2017 Feb 18; 8(2):130-141. PMID: 28251063.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Meeker DG, Beenken KE, Mills WB, Loughran AJ, Spencer HJ, Lynn WB, Smeltzer MS. Evaluation of Antibiotics Active against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Based on Activity in an Established Biofilm. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 10; 60(10):5688-94. PMID: 27401574.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Loughran AJ, Gaddy D, Beenken KE, Meeker DG, Morello R, Zhao H, Byrum SD, Tackett AJ, Cassat JE, Smeltzer MS. Impact of sarA and Phenol-Soluble Modulins on the Pathogenesis of Osteomyelitis in Diverse Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. Infect Immun. 2016 09; 84(9):2586-94. PMID: 27354444.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Jennings JA, Beenken KE, Skinner RA, Meeker DG, Smeltzer MS, Haggard WO, Troxel KS. Antibiotic-loaded phosphatidylcholine inhibits staphylococcal bone infection. World J Orthop. 2016 Aug 18; 7(8):467-74. PMID: 27622146.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Atwood DN, Beenken KE, Loughran AJ, Meeker DG, Lantz TL, Graham JW, Spencer HJ, Smeltzer MS. XerC Contributes to Diverse Forms of Staphylococcus aureus Infection via agr-Dependent and agr-Independent Pathways. Infect Immun. 2016 Apr; 84(4):1214-1225. PMID: 26857575.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Meeker DG, Jenkins SV, Miller EK, Beenken KE, Loughran AJ, Powless A, Muldoon TJ, Galanzha EI, Zharov VP, Smeltzer MS, Chen J. Synergistic Photothermal and Antibiotic Killing of Biofilm-Associated Staphylococcus aureus Using Targeted Antibiotic-Loaded Gold Nanoconstructs. ACS Infect Dis. 2016 Apr 08; 2(4):241-250. PMID: 27441208.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Jennings JA, Beenken KE, Parker AC, Smith JK, Courtney HS, Smeltzer MS, Haggard WO. Polymicrobial Biofilm Inhibition Effects of Acetate-Buffered Chitosan Sponge Delivery Device. Macromol Biosci. 2016 Apr; 16(4):591-8. PMID: 26756211.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Atwood DN, Beenken KE, Lantz TL, Meeker DG, Lynn WB, Mills WB, Spencer HJ, Smeltzer MS. Regulatory Mutations Impacting Antibiotic Susceptibility in an Established Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Jan 11; 60(3):1826-9. PMID: 26824954.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Jennings JA, Carpenter DP, Troxel KS, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Courtney HS, Haggard WO. Novel Antibiotic-loaded Point-of-care Implant Coating Inhibits Biofilm. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2015 Jul; 473(7):2270-82. PMID: 25604874.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Atwood DN, Loughran AJ, Courtney AP, Anthony AC, Meeker DG, Spencer HJ, Gupta RK, Lee CY, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS. Comparative impact of diverse regulatory loci on Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation. Microbiologyopen. 2015 Jun; 4(3):436-51. PMID: 25810138.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Parker AC, Beenken KE, Jennings JA, Hittle L, Shirtliff ME, Bumgardner JD, Smeltzer MS, Haggard WO. Characterization of local delivery with amphotericin B and vancomycin from modified chitosan sponges and functional biofilm prevention evaluation. J Orthop Res. 2015 Mar; 33(3):439-47. PMID: 25408519.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Loughran AJ, Atwood DN, Anthony AC, Harik NS, Spencer HJ, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS. Impact of individual extracellular proteases on Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation in diverse clinical isolates and their isogenic sarA mutants. Microbiologyopen. 2014 Dec; 3(6):897-909. PMID: 25257373.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Beenken KE, Smith JK, Skinner RA, Mclaren SG, Bellamy W, Gruenwald MJ, Spencer HJ, Jennings JA, Haggard WO, Smeltzer MS. Chitosan coating to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of calcium sulfate-based antibiotic therapy in the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis. J Biomater Appl. 2014 Oct; 29(4):514-23. PMID: 24854984.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Beenken KE, Mrak LN, Zielinska AK, Atwood DN, Loughran AJ, Griffin LM, Matthews KA, Anthony AM, Spencer HJ, Skinner RA, Post GR, Lee CY, Smeltzer MS. Impact of the functional status of saeRS on in vivo phenotypes of Staphylococcus aureus sarA mutants. Mol Microbiol. 2014 Jun; 92(6):1299-312. PMID: 24779437.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Snowden JN, Beaver M, Beenken K, Smeltzer M, Horswill AR, Kielian T. Staphylococcus aureus sarA regulates inflammation and colonization during central nervous system biofilm formation. PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e84089. PMID: 24386336.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Hobby GH, Quave CL, Nelson K, Compadre CM, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS. Quercus cerris extracts limit Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Dec 18; 144(3):812-5. PMID: 23127649.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Zielinska AK, Beenken KE, Mrak LN, Spencer HJ, Post GR, Skinner RA, Tackett AJ, Horswill AR, Smeltzer MS. sarA-mediated repression of protease production plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus USA300 isolates. Mol Microbiol. 2012 Dec; 86(5):1183-96. PMID: 23075270.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Galanzha EI, Shashkov E, Sarimollaoglu M, Beenken KE, Basnakian AG, Shirtliff ME, Kim JW, Smeltzer MS, Zharov VP. In vivo magnetic enrichment, photoacoustic diagnosis, and photothermal purging of infected blood using multifunctional gold and magnetic nanoparticles. PLoS One. 2012; 7(9):e45557. PMID: 23049814.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Beenken KE, Bradney L, Bellamy W, Skinner RA, McLaren SG, Gruenwald MJ, Spencer HJ, Smith JK, Haggard WO, Smeltzer MS. Use of xylitol to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of polymethylmethacrylate-based antibiotic therapy in treatment of chronic osteomyelitis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Nov; 56(11):5839-44. PMID: 22948866.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Brown TL, Spencer HJ, Beenken KE, Alpe TL, Bartel TB, Bellamy W, Gruenwald JM, Skinner RA, McLaren SG, Smeltzer MS. Evaluation of dynamic [18F]-FDG-PET imaging for the detection of acute post-surgical bone infection. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e41863. PMID: 22860021.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Mrak LN, Zielinska AK, Beenken KE, Mrak IN, Atwood DN, Griffin LM, Lee CY, Smeltzer MS. saeRS and sarA act synergistically to repress protease production and promote biofilm formation in Staphylococcus aureus. PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e38453. PMID: 22685571.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Morrison JM, Anderson KL, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS, Dunman PM. The staphylococcal accessory regulator, SarA, is an RNA-binding protein that modulates the mRNA turnover properties of late-exponential and stationary phase Staphylococcus aureus cells. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2012; 2:26. PMID: 22919618.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Beenken KE, Spencer H, Griffin LM, Smeltzer MS. Impact of extracellular nuclease production on the biofilm phenotype of Staphylococcus aureus under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Infect Immun. 2012 May; 80(5):1634-8. PMID: 22354028.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Quave CL, Estévez-Carmona M, Compadre CM, Hobby G, Hendrickson H, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS. Ellagic acid derivatives from Rubus ulmifolius inhibit Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and improve response to antibiotics. PLoS One. 2012; 7(1):e28737. PMID: 22242149.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Zielinska AK, Beenken KE, Joo HS, Mrak LN, Griffin LM, Luong TT, Lee CY, Otto M, Shaw LN, Smeltzer MS. Defining the strain-dependent impact of the Staphylococcal accessory regulator (sarA) on the alpha-toxin phenotype of Staphylococcus aureus. J Bacteriol. 2011 Jun; 193(12):2948-58. PMID: 21478342.
      View in: PubMed
    40. Olson PD, Kuechenmeister LJ, Anderson KL, Daily S, Beenken KE, Roux CM, Reniere ML, Lewis TL, Weiss WJ, Pulse M, Nguyen P, Simecka JW, Morrison JM, Sayood K, Asojo OA, Smeltzer MS, Skaar EP, Dunman PM. Small molecule inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus RnpA alter cellular mRNA turnover, exhibit antimicrobial activity, and attenuate pathogenesis. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Feb 10; 7(2):e1001287. PMID: 21347352.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Beenken KE, Mrak LN, Griffin LM, Zielinska AK, Shaw LN, Rice KC, Horswill AR, Bayles KW, Smeltzer MS. Epistatic relationships between sarA and agr in Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation. PLoS One. 2010 May 24; 5(5):e10790. PMID: 20520723.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Weiss EC, Zielinska A, Beenken KE, Spencer HJ, Daily SJ, Smeltzer MS. Impact of sarA on daptomycin susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in vivo. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 Oct; 53(10):4096-102. PMID: 19651914.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Tsang LH, Cassat JE, Shaw LN, Beenken KE, Smeltzer MS. Factors contributing to the biofilm-deficient phenotype of Staphylococcus aureus sarA mutants. PLoS One. 2008; 3(10):e3361. PMID: 18846215.
      View in: PubMed
    44. Cassat J, Dunman PM, Murphy E, Projan SJ, Beenken KE, Palm KJ, Yang SJ, Rice KC, Bayles KW, Smeltzer MS. Transcriptional profiling of a Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolate and its isogenic agr and sarA mutants reveals global differences in comparison to the laboratory strain RN6390. Microbiology (Reading). 2006 Oct; 152(Pt 10):3075-3090. PMID: 17005987.
      View in: PubMed
    45. Elkins CA, Beenken KE. Modeling the tripartite drug efflux pump archetype: structural and functional studies of the macromolecular constituents reveal more than their names imply. J Chemother. 2005 Dec; 17(6):581-92. PMID: 16433187.
      View in: PubMed
    46. Beenken KE, Dunman PM, McAleese F, Macapagal D, Murphy E, Projan SJ, Blevins JS, Smeltzer MS. Global gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. J Bacteriol. 2004 Jul; 186(14):4665-84. PMID: 15231800.
      View in: PubMed
    47. Beenken KE, Blevins JS, Smeltzer MS. Mutation of sarA in Staphylococcus aureus limits biofilm formation. Infect Immun. 2003 Jul; 71(7):4206-11. PMID: 12819120.
      View in: PubMed
    48. Blevins JS, Elasri MO, Allmendinger SD, Beenken KE, Skinner RA, Thomas JR, Smeltzer MS. Role of sarA in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus musculoskeletal infection. Infect Immun. 2003 Jan; 71(1):516-23. PMID: 12496203.
      View in: PubMed
    49. Blevins JS, Beenken KE, Elasri MO, Hurlburt BK, Smeltzer MS. Strain-dependent differences in the regulatory roles of sarA and agr in Staphylococcus aureus. Infect Immun. 2002 Feb; 70(2):470-80. PMID: 11796572.
      View in: PubMed
    50. Elasri MO, Thomas JR, Skinner RA, Blevins JS, Beenken KE, Nelson CL, Smeltzer MS. Staphylococcus aureus collagen adhesin contributes to the pathogenesis of osteomyelitis. Bone. 2002 Jan; 30(1):275-80. PMID: 11792597.
      View in: PubMed
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