Boris Ermolinsky, Ph.D.

Boris Ermolinsky, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences
Joint appointment: Department of Biology

BBRHP 1.123
(956) 882-5774


  • BIOL 1406 - General Biology I


  • 2000 Ph.D. Institute of Molecular Biology

Areas of Interest

Nanoparticles, bacteria, eukaryotic transfection, gene expression.


Silver ions and silver-based compounds are highly toxic to microorganisms. Silver in the nitrate form is generally used to induce antimicrobial effect, but silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) offer a considerable increase in the surface area available for microbe exposure. Although the antibacterial effect of AgNPs has been widely described, their mechanism of action is yet to be elucidated. The potent antibacterial and broad-spectrum activity against a wide range of morphologically and metabolically different microorganisms seems to correlate with a multifaceted mechanism by which nanoparticles interact with microbes. Several studies have shown that AgNP activity depends on size perhaps because smaller nanoparticles are more effective in penetrating bacterial cells than large ones. This is supported by observations that nanoparticles with smaller diameter and a positive zeta potential cause enhanced cell death. While most investigators are addressing size of AgNP, shape is likely to play significant role in antibacterial activity also. Because this area of investigation is presently neglected the role of AgNP shape in antibacterial activity is being investigated in a collaborative effort. A Rice University group in Houston will synthesize and characterize nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes, and we will evaluate biological activity on a set of bacterial models.

Recent Publications

  • Ermolinsky, B., M. Peredelchuk, and D. Provenzano. 2013. α-Cyclodextrin Decreases Cholera Toxin binding to GM1-gangliosidesJournal of Medical Microbiology 62(4), 1011-1014.
  • Wein, A., B. Williams, S. Liu, B. Ermolinsky, D. Provenzano, R. Abgyan, A. Orry, S. Leppla, and M. Peredelchuck. 2012. Small Molecule Inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Proteolytic Activation and Oligomerization. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 55(18), 7998-8006.
  • Ruiz, N., L. Pacheco, B. Farrell, C. Cox, B. Ermolinsky, E. Garrido-Sanabria, and S. Nair. 2011. Metabolic gene expression changes in the hippocampus of obese epileptic male rats in the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain research 1426, 86-95.

UTRGV Faculty Profile