Back to Top
Skip to Site Search Skip to Utility Nav Skip to Top Nav Skip to Left Nav Skip to Content
Close Main Menu

Dobroslawa Bialonska, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor of Environmental Microbiology
Phone: 706-864-1787

Office: Health and Natural Sciences, 437, Dahlonega
Areas of Expertise: Environmental Microbiology, Natural Products in Drug Development, Human Gut Microbiota, Food Microbiology, Quorum Sensing Inhibition, Antimicrobial Natural Products

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 1107K Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 2500/L Microbiology for Allied Health Professionals 
  • BIOL 4836 Environmental Microbiology
  • BIOL 4390 General Microbiology
  • BIOL 4700 Senior Seminar
  • BIOL 48xx Food Microbiology in Italy


  • Ph.D., Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, 2004
  • M.S., Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, 1999

Research/Special Interests

Current Research Project:

Antifungal activity of tryptophan derivatives isolated from marine invertebrates. Inhibition of quorum sensing in Chromobacterium violaceum by indole-3-carboxaldehydes.

Antifungal activity of metabolites from marine invertebrates

Yeasts are commonly known as the single-celled fungi accountable for our ability to produce wine, beer, and leavened bread. Other yeasts, that related to these useful types, live symbiotically on our skin, in our mouths, and on our genitals with no deleterious effects. But when they are introduced to other parts of our bodies such as the urinary tract or bloodstream, they can cause disease and become potentially fatal, especially in populations with weakened immune systems. In fact, it is estimated that one million people per year die from infections caused by yeasts. In addition, new drug-resistant strains of Candida yeast, contracted in hospital settings, have recently caused deadly infections in Europe and in the U.S., and were identified as a “fundamental global threat” in the 2016 UN General Assembly. Consequently, the need for the development of new, effective, and safe antifungal drugs is a pressing, but also particularly challenging issue because humans and yeasts share many similarities in their cellular processes. In this project, we have evaluated a group of compounds produced by marine invertebrates for their ability to inhibit the growth of the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans. We have also investigated the genetic background of the antifungal activity using the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Quorum Sensing Inhibition

Bacteria can communicate with each other via quorum sensing (QS). This communication allows bacteria to determine bacterial density in a given area and then change their gene expression when a large enough group is detected. Many bacterial activities have been shown to be QS-regulated including toxin production, biofilm formation, and light production.  If the process of QS can be interrupted it is possible that bacteria could be rendered less pathogenic (QSI). We use the bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum as a model organism, because it produces a purple pigment if QS is reached or remains colorless if QS is inhibited. Currently, we are testing a group of novel pyrrolobenzodiazepines (PBD) for their QS inhibitory activity.

Bioactive Natural Products: Detection, Isolation and Structure Determination

Natural products are chemical compounds produced by a living organism. They are produced as a result of ecological interactions with abiotic and biotic environment and often exhibit profound biological activity (antimicrobial, antitumoral, antioxidant, etc.). In fact, approximately 60% of drugs available on market originate from natural products either in original or modified form.  We’re extracting secondary metabolites from plants, fungi and bacteria to test them for antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Analyses of microbial populations on patient owned wheelchairs and therapeutic ball pits.  

Since we are aware that germs are being identified in hospitals on wheelchairs that the hospitals have, we wanted to look at what organisms might be on wheelchair users who are out in the community.  Similarly, the equipment for ball pits has reached the public’s attention in places like McDonald’s where there are public play areas, but there is no specific research that looks at ball pits that are used in therapeutic environments such as outpatient clinics for children. This project is performed in cooperation with Dr. Andy Robinson from the Department of Physical Therapy. To identify bacteria we use BIOLOG system that analyzes ability of the cell to metabolize all major classes of biochemicals.


Oesterle, M.E.; Wright, K.; Fidler, M.; Johnson, P.; Bialonska, D. Are ball pits located in physical therapy clinical settings a source of pathogenic microorganisms? Am J Infect Control (accepted)

Annor-Gyamfi, J.K.; Jarrett, J.M.; Osazee, J.O.; Bialonska, D.; Whitted, C.; Palau, V.; Shilabin, A.G. Synthesis and biological activity of fused tetracyclic Pyrrolo[2,1-c][1,4]benzodiazepines Heliyon. 2018 Feb; 4(2): e00539.

Ranpura, H.; Bialonska, D; Bolton, P.H. Finding and characterizing the complexes of drug like molecules with quadruplex DNA: Combined use of an enhanced hydroxyl radical cleavage protocol and NMR. PLOS ONE. 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096218.

Lewellyn, K.; Bialonska, D.; Loria, M.J.; White, S.W.; Sufka, K.J.; Zjawiony, J.K. In vitro structure-activity relationships of aplysinopsin analogs and their in vivo evaluation in the chick anxiety-depression model. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.  2013, 21:7083-7090.

Chaurasiya, N.D.; Lewellyn, K.; Bialonska, D.; Zjawiony J.; Tekwani B.L. Mechanism and kinetics of inhibition of human MAO A and B by aplysinopsin analogs. Planta Med.  2012, 78: P_104.

Lewellyn, K.; Bialonska, D.; Chaurasiya, N.D.; Tekwani, B.L.; Loria, M.J.; White, S.W.; Sufka, K.J.; Zjawiony, J.K. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of the antidepressant activity of aplysinopsin analogs. Planta Med. 2012, 78 - CL22

Lewellyn, K.; Bialonska, D.; Chaurasiya N.D.; Tekwani, B.L.; Zjawiony, J.K. Synthesis and evaluation of aplysinopsin analogs as inhibitors of human monoamine oxidase A and B. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.  2012, 22:4926-4929.

Bialonska, D.; Song, K.; Bolton, P.H. Complexes of mismatched and complementary DNA with minor groove binders. Structures at nucleotide resolution via an improved hydroxyl radical cleavage methodology. Mutat. Res. 2011, 726, 47-53.

Jurkiewicz, A.; Ryszka,P.; Anielska, T.; Waligórski, P.; Bialonska, D.; Góralska, K.; Tsimilli-Michael, M.; Turnau, K. Optimization of culture conditions of Arnica montana L.: effects of mycorrhizal fungi and competing plants.Mycorrhiza 2010, 20, 293-306.

Bialonska, D.; Ramnani, P.; Kasimsetty, S.G.; Gibson, G.R.; Ferreira, D. The influence of pomegranate by-product and punicalagins on the human faecal microbiota. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 2010, 140, 175-182.

Bialonska, D.; Kasimsetty, S.G.; Khan S.I.; Ferreira, D. Urolithins, intestinal microbial metabolites of pomegranate ellagitannins, exhibit potent antioxidant activity in a cell based assay. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 10181-10186.

Bialonska, D.; Kasimsetty, S.G.; Schrader, K.K.; Ferreira, D. The effect of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) byproducts and ellagitannins on the growth of human gut bacteria. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 8344-8349.

Kasimsetty, S.G.; Bialonska, D.; Muntha, K.R.; Ma, G.; Ferreira, D. Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of pomegranate chemical constituents/microbial metabolites in HT-29 human colon cancer cells. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2010, 58, 2180-2187.

Kasimsetty, S.G.; Bialonska, D.; Muntha, K.R.; Willett, K.L.; Ferreira, D. Effects of pomegranate chemical constituents/microbial metabolites on CYP1B1 in 22Rv1 prostate cancer cells. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 10636-10644. 

Bialonska, D.; Zjawiony, J. K. Aplysinopsins - Marine Indole Alkaloids: Chemistry, Bioactivity and Ecological Significance. Mar. Drugs 2009, 7, 166-183.

Bialonska, D.; Zobel, A.M.; Kuras, M.; Tykarska, T.; Sawicka-Kapusta, K. Phenolic compounds and cell structure in bilberry leaves affected by emissions from a Zn-Pb smelter. Water Air Soil Pollut. 2007, 187: 123-133.

Bialonska, D.; Dayan, F. Chemistry of lichen Hypogymnia physodes transplanted to an industrial region. J. Chem. Ecol. 2005, 31, 2975-2991.

Work Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Biology, Morningside College, Sioux City IA, August 2013 – August 2014.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, St. Edward’s University, Austin TX, August 2012 - May 2013.
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT, March 2010 – August 2012.
  • Postdoctoral Associate, The University of Mississippi, School of Pharmacy, Oxford MS, February 2007 – July 2009. 

Personal Information

Dr. Bialonska was born and grew up in Poland. She first arrived to the US in 2003 as a graduate scholar to conduct research in the School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, where she later worked as a postdoctoral research associate. Dr. Bialonska loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and her Yorkie. She enjoys yoga, jogging, reading, and is passionate of traveling. She has visited 15 countries in Europe and North America. In future she would love to travel with UNG students for a study abroad in Europe.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our site may have been taken before social distancing, face coverings and restricted gatherings were required.

Back to Top