Education:Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Immunology, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola University Chicago
B.S., Biochemistry, Beloit College
Principles of Biology (BIOL 150), Microbiology (BIOL 308), Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (BIOL 230)
Dr. Severson is also an instructor for the Master’s in Medical Biotechnology Program at UIC College of Medicine where she has her own Immunoassays laboratory course, and where she periodically guest lectures for Immunology, Introductory Skills Training, and Ethics.
Dr. Severson was born and raised in the Rockford area. She attended Beloit College for her undergraduate studies where she earned a B.S. in Biochemistry. She then obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago, where she studied mechanisms by which beneficial intestinal bacteria stimulate B cell development. After her Ph.D., Dr. Severson extended her studies of host-microbe interactions during her post-doctoral studies at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. In 2011, she moved back to the Rockford area where she worked for several years as a Research and Development Scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, developing protein detection reagents and tools. Although her career has largely focused on research, she has also taught Biology courses at the University of Illinois Chicago and Northern Illinois University, on topics ranging from Biotechnology to Immunology.
Dr. Severson joined Rockford University as Visiting Assistant Professor in 2018 to teach Principles of Biology (BIOL 150) in the fall semester, and Microbiology (BIOL 308), and Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (BIOL 230) in the spring semester. Her additional teaching interests include Immunology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Virology, and Biotechnology, and her research interests include beneficial host-microbe interactions, intestinal bacterial life cycles, and bacterial-induced immune system development.
Stimulation of B cell development by beneficial (commensal) bacteria; development of neonatal immunity upon bacterial colonization after birth; identification of bacterial molecules that promote intestinal homeostasis; bacterial life cycles in the intestine (spore-forming bacteria); assessing environmental factors that cause bacterial populations to change over time
Severson, K.M. and Katherine L. Knight. 2014. Generation of the Antibody Repertoire in Rabbits: Role of Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissues. In A. Kaushik and Y. Pasman (ed), Comparative Immunoglobulin Genetics, Apple Academic Press.
Vaishnava, S., Yamamoto, M., Severson, K. M., Ruhn, K. A., Yu, X., Koren, O., Ley, R., Wakeland, E. K., and Hooper, L. V. 2011. The Antibacterial Lectin RegIIIγ Promotes the Spatial Segregation of Microbiota and Host in the Intestine. Science 334 (6053): 255-258.
Ismail, A. S., Severson, K. M., Vaishnava, S., Behrendt, C. L., Yu, X., Benjamin, J., Ruhn, K. A., Hou, B., DeFranco, A., Yarovinsky, F., and Hooper, L. V. 2011. γδ Intraepithelial Lymphocytes are Essential Mediators of Host-Microbial Homeostasis at the Intestinal Mucosal Surface. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 108 (21): 8743-8748.
Severson, K. M., Mallozzi, M., Driks, A., and Knight, K. L. 2010. B cell Development in GALT: Role of Bacterial Superantigen-like Molecules. J. Immunol. 184: 6782-6789.
Severson, K. M., Mallozzi, M., Bozue, J., Welkos, S., Cote, C. K., Knight, K. L., and Driks, A. 2009. Roles of the Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein ExsK in Exosporium Maturation and Germination. J. Bact.191(24): 7587-7596.
Lanning, D. K., Severson, K. M., Knight, K. L. 2008. Intestinal Bacteria: Mucosal Tissue Development and Immune Homeostasis. In M. Vajdy (ed), Immunity against Mucosal Pathogens, Springer Science + Business Media B. V. p. 135-150.
Harcourt, B. H., Jukneliene, D., Kanjanahaluethai, A., Bechill, J. Severson, K. M., Smith, C. M., Rota, P. A., Baker, S. C. 2004. Identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus replicase products and characterization of papain-like protease activity. J. Virol. 78(24): 13600-13612.