Katie Aldred

Dr. Katie Aldred

Associate Professor/Biology

Room 223, Koch Center for Engineering and Science


  • Enzymology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


  • BS, University of Evansville
  • PhD, Vanderbilt University

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 107 General Biology
  • BIOL 119 Introductory Biology: Molecular Perspectives
  • BIOL 331 Genetics
  • BIOL 340 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 399 Cancer Biology
  • BIOL 399 Drug-Target Interactions
  • ES 103 Fundamentals of Environmental Science

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the mechanism of action of type II topoisomerases and how these enzymes interact with drugs. Type II topoisomerases are essential enzymes that regulate and maintain DNA topology. The bacterial type II enzymes, gyrase and topoisomerase IV, are the targets of the quinolone class of antibacterials, which includes Cipro and Levaquin. Specific mutations in the bacterial type II enzymes are the primary cause of quinolone resistance seen in clinical isolates. By determining how mutations in these enzymes actually cause reduced drug activity, the resulting mechanistic data can be used to drive the rational design of new quinolones or quinolone-like drugs that maintain activity in the presence of the resistance mutations. An important consideration in generating new drugs is whether they are specific for the bacterial enzymes, as humans also have two type II topoisomerases – topoisomerase IIα and IIβ. However, because the human enzymes are important targets of some anticancer chemotherapeutics (including etoposide, doxorubicin, and mitoxantrone), quinolones with high activity against human type II topoisomerases have the potential to be developed into anticancer drugs.


  • Deans’ Outstanding Teacher Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Evansville, 2020
  • The Sadelle & Sydney Berger Annual Award for Scholarship, 2022

Publications (* Designates UE student author.)

  • KJ Aldred, A Payne*, and O Voegerl*. (2019) A RADAR-Based Assay to Isolate Covalent DNA Complexes in Bacteria. Antibiotics (Basel). 8(1):11 pages.
  • KJ Aldred, TR Blower, RJ Kerns, JM Berger, and N Osheroff. (2016) Fluoroquinolone Interactions with Mycobacterium tuberculosis Gyrase: Enhancing Drug Activity Against Wild-Type and Resistant Gyrase. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 113(7):E839-46.
  • KJ Aldred, HA Schwanz, G Li, BH Williamson, SA McPherson, CL Turnbough Jr, RJ Kerns, N Osheroff. (2015) Activity of quinolone CP-115,955 against bacterial and human type II topoisomerases is mediated by different interactions. Biochemistry. 54(5):1278-86.
  • KJ Aldred, EJ Breland, SA McPherson, CL Turnbough Jr, RJ Kerns, N Osheroff. (2014) Bacillus anthracis GrlAV96A topoisomerase IV, a quinolone resistance mutation that does not affect the water-metal ion bridge. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 58(12):7182-7.
  • KJ Aldred, EJ Breland, V Vlčková, MP Strub, KC Neuman, RJ Kerns, N Osheroff. (2014) Role of the water-metal ion bridge in mediating interactions between quinolones and Escherichia coli topoisomerase IV. Biochemistry. 53(34):5558-67.
  • KJ Aldred, RJ Kerns, N Osheroff. (2014) Mechanism of quinolone action and resistance. Biochemistry. 53(10):1565-74. Invited Current Topics review article.
  • KJ Aldred, HA Schwanz, G Li, SA McPherson, CL Turnbough Jr, RJ Kerns, N Osheroff. (2013) Overcoming target-mediated quinolone resistance in topoisomerase IV by introducing metal-ion-independent drug-enzyme interactions. ACS Chem Biol. 8(12):2660-8.
  • KJ Aldred, SA McPherson, CL Turnbough Jr, RJ Kerns, N Osheroff. (2013) Topoisomerase IV quinolone interactions are mediated through a water-metal ion bridge: mechanistic basis of quinolone resistance. Nucleic Acids Res. 41(8):4628-39.
  • KJ Aldred, SA McPherson, P Wang, RJ Kerns, DE Graves, CL Turnbough, Jr., and N Osheroff. (2012) Drug Interactions with Bacillus anthracis Topoisomerase IV: Biochemical Basis for Quinolone Action and Resistance. Biochemistry, 51, 370-381.

Recent Lab Alumni

  • Hannah Carter, PhD, Baylor University College of Medicine
  • Baylee Wildman, MPAS - Masters of Physician Assistant Science, University of Evansville
  • Remington “Remi” Hoerr - PhD student, Vanderbilt University
  • Olivia Voegerl
  • Kelly Nixon - DO student, Marian University
  • Adeline “Addie” Payne
  • Evan Aders - MD student, Indiana University
  • Bibek Karki - PhD student, University of Cincinnati
  • Helen William - MD student, Georgetown University