The Schmidt Lab

Photo of Dr. Michael Schmidt

Michael G. Schmidt, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

1985-1989 Postdoctoral Fellowship, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Research Associate in the laboratory of Donald B. Oliver.

1985 Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington
1981 MA, Indiana University, Bloomington
1978, BS University of Illinois, Chicago

Contact Info
Tel: 843-792-9532
BSB 214A

Research Interests

Currently, he is developing a series of comprehensive multi-center clinical trials that will evaluate the world’s first continuously active and non-leaching antimicrobial gloves for use in healthcare in order to assess their utility in limiting the acquisition of healthcare associated infections (HAI). This work directly compliments his efforts in leading an inter-institutional/ interdisciplinary team of professionals investigating the role that microbes associated with objects present in the built clinical environments play in this 150 billion dollar problem facing US healthcare. Here in concert with a group of infectious disease specialists, infection control professionals, architects and engineers they are building on the success of a previous multi-center clinical trial where they established that by controlling burden in the built clinical environment through the introduction of the limited and targeted placement of solid copper alloys, they were able to significantly reduce HAI acquisition rates by 58%. The results from this study were the basis of a talk he provided to TEDxCharleston in 2013. Much of the basic science work from the evaluation of the antimicrobial properties of copper led to recent efforts into the realm of dental materials where he with clinical colleagues appreciated the role that copper-iodide nanoparticles might serve in continuously limiting biofilm activity associated with dental restorations resulting in improved outcomes secondary to longevity enhancements of the dental materials in the oral environment. This work has resulted in an issued US patent.

Additionally, his laboratory has expertise in the molecular characterization of complex biofilms, principally those associated with mixed microbial communities including those of medical and dental significance. Recent work has focused on the relationship between the population distribution of the human intestinal microbiome and the genesis of colorectal cancer, type II diabetes, NASH and necrotizing ulcerative colitis in a neonatal population.

Dr. Schmidt is also very active in the educational missions of the Colleges of Graduate Studies, Medicine and Dentistry at MUSC. To this end he has explored using learning analytics to assess how students in a dental curriculum are mastering competency. This effort was instrumental in serving the College of Dental Medicine during their recent self-study in evaluating the effectiveness of their curriculum and has led to process improvements in the formative and summative assessment of dental students. He has also chaired the Educational Strategies Workshop of the Association of Medical School Microbiology And Immunology Chairs on behalf of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and serves as one of the College of Dental Medicine’s representatives to the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education.

He serves as an invited reviewer for the literature of his field, serving on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM) and the International Editorial Board for Infection Prevention in Practice (IPIP) for the Healthcare Infection Society of England. He is the immediate past chair of the Branch Organization Committee for the American Society for Microbiology, was a member of that society’s Communications Committee, co-chaired the development of their career poster, and facilitated the revision of the society’s public website, He has led numerous, national workshops on the use of information technology in medicine, microbiology and infectious diseases (FEMA), has twice been a panelist on Science Friday, was a former content editor for Microbeworld radio, and presently serves as regular contributor to the internationally recognized podcast This Week In Microbiology (TWiM).

His most significant publications/patents are listed and have been in the area of the control of healthcare associated infections, phage therapy and the mineralization of vapor phase solvents. He has also published an OP-ED with the Governor of AR and former Asst. Secretary of DHS, Asa Hutchinson, on the topic of crisis/disaster preparation.

Recent Publications | Additional Publications
Schmidt, M.G., Fairey, S.E., and Attaway, H.H. “In situ evaluation of a persistent disinfectant provides continuous decontamination within the clinical environment.” (2019) American Journal of Infection Control AJIC-D-18-00873 in press.

Watkins RT Jr., Conn LJ, Gellin RG, Gonzales TS, Hamil LM, Cayouette MJ, Schmidt MG. “Analyzing Dental Students' Clinic Production Using Time-Based Relative Value Units: Ten-Year Cross-Cohort Mapping.” J Dent Educ. 2018 Mar;82(3):260-268. doi: 10.21815/JDE.018.025. PMID:29496804

Schmidt MG, Salgado CD, Freeman KD, John JF, Cantey JR, Sharpe PA, Michels HT. “Antimicrobial surfaces to prevent healthcare-associated infections: a systematic review - a different view.” J Hosp Infect. 2018 Feb 12. pii: S0195-6701(18)30099-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2018.02.007. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available. PMID:29448050

Schmidt MG, Tuuri RE, Dharsee A, Attaway HH, Fairey SE, Borg KT, Salgado CD, Hirsch BE. “Antimicrobial copper alloys decreased bacteria on stethoscope surfaces.” Am J Infect Control. 2017 Jun 1;45(6):642-647. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2017.01.030. Epub 2017 Mar 13. PMID:28302430

Hinsa-Leasure SM, Nartey Q, Vaverka J, Schmidt MG. “Copper alloy surfaces sustain terminal cleaning levels in a rural hospital.”Am J Infect Control. 2016 Nov 1;44(11):e195-e203. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.06.033. Epub 2016 Sep 28. PMID:27692787

Schmidt MG, John JJ Jr, Freeman KD, Sharpe PA, Estelle AA, Michels HT. “Perspectives from the field in response to "It is time to revise our approach to registering antimicrobial agents for health care settings.” Am J Infect Control. 2016 Oct 1;44(10):1187-1189. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.04.249. Epub 2016 Aug 9. No abstract available. PMID:27520787

von Dessauer B, Navarrete MS, Benadof D, Benavente C, Schmidt MG. “Potential effectiveness of copper surfaces in reducing health care-associated infection rates in a pediatric intensive and intermediate care unit: A nonrandomized controlled trial.” Am J Infect Control. 2016 Aug 1;44(8):e133-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.03.053. Epub 2016 Jun 16. PMID:27318524

Wang B, Pachaiyappan B, Gruber JD, Schmidt MG, Zhang YM, Woster PM. “Antibacterial Diamines Targeting Bacterial Membranes.” J Med Chem. 2016 Apr 14;59(7):3140-51. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01912. Epub 2016 Mar 28. PMID:26964758

Schmidt MG, von Dessauer B, Benavente C, Benadof D, Cifuentes P, Elgueta A, Duran C, Navarrete MS. “Copper surfaces are associated with significantly lower concentrations of bacteria on selected surfaces within a pediatric intensive care unit.” Am J Infect Control. 2016 Feb;44(2):203-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2015.09.008. Epub 2015 Nov 6. PMID:26553403

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