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Michael G. Schmidt PhD

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  • Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Microbiology and Immunology
Academic Focus
  • Controlling Acquistion of Hosptial Acquired Infections
  • Pandemic Preparations and Disaster Preparedness
  • Bacteiral pathogenesis
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Michael G. Schmidt earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington and rose through the ranks of the Medical University of South Carolina earning the title of tenured professor of microbiology and immunology.  He was elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology and the American College of Dentists. Currently, he is leading an inter-institutional/ interdisciplinary team of professionals investigating the role that microbes associated with objects present in the built clinical environment play in the acquisition of a healthcare associated infections (HAI). This interdisciplinary team of infectious disease specialists, infection control professionals, architects and engineers are building on the success of previous multi-center clinical trials where he and his colleagues 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 and featured in articles in the Smithsonian Magazine and Vice.


Dr. Schmidt is active in the educational missions of the Colleges of Dentistry, Graduate Studies and Medicine at MUSC.  He serves as an invited reviewer to the literature of his field and has served his professional society, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in a variety of roles.  He is the immediate past Chair of the Council for Microbial Sciences (2019-2020) where he  recently led, in concert with the Vice Chair, Suzanne Fleiszig COMS efforts in convening a global summit on SARs-CoV-2 in March 2020.  He served 3 terms as the chair of the Branch Organization Committee, was a member the 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 the former content editor for Microbeworld radio, and for the past 9 years been a regular contributor to the internationally recognized podcast This Week In Microbiology (TWiM)


His most significant publications/patents 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 sitting Governor of AR and former Asst. Secretary of DHS, Asa Hutchinson, on the topic of crisis/disaster preparation.  His work has been funded by the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NIH , the private sector and most recently the Department of Justice where he is providing direction and service as a content expert in the areas of crimes involving biological, chemical, explosive, and/or radiological interventions to the Mass Violence Resource Center supported by the Office of Victims of Crime. 


Selected Publications

Schmidt, M.G., Attaway, H.H., Fairey, S. E., Howard, J., Mohr, D. and Craig, S.  2020.  Self-Disinfecting Copper Beds Sustain Terminal Cleaning and Disinfection (TC&D) Effects Throughout Patient Care.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  10.1128/AEM.01886-19. PMID 31704675


Schmidt MG  Sterilization, Disinfection and Antisepsis. In CRC Practical Handbook of Microbiology, 4thrd Edition. 2020.  Goldman and Green Editors.  CRC Press.  


Renné WG, Lindner A, Mennito AS, Agee KA, Pashley DH, Willett D, Sentelle D, Defee M, Schmidt M, Sabatini C. Antibacterial properties of copper iodide-doped glass ionomer-based materials and effect of copper iodide nanoparticles on collagen degradation. Clin Oral Investig. 2016 Mar 28;PubMed PMID: 27020910.


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. PubMed PMID: 27318524

Michels HT, Keevil CW, Salgado CD, Schmidt MG. From Laboratory Research to a Clinical Trial: Copper Alloy Surfaces Kill Bacteria and Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections. HERD. 2015 Fall;9(1):64-79. PubMed PMID: 26163568; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4561453


Salgado CD, Sepkowitz KA, John JF, Cantey JR, Attaway HH, Freeman KD, Sharpe PA, Michels HT, Schmidt MG. Copper surfaces reduce the rate of healthcare-acquired infections in the intensive care unit. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013 May;34(5):479-86. PubMed PMID: 23571364


Schmidt MG, Attaway HH, Sharpe PA, John J Jr, Sepkowitz KA, Morgan A, Fairey SE, Singh S, Steed LL, Cantey JR, Freeman KD, Michels HT, Salgado CD. Sustained reduction of microbial burden on common hospital surfaces through introduction of copper. J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Jul;50(7):2217-23. PubMed PMID: 22553242; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3405627


Westwater C, Schofield DA, Schmidt MG, Norris JS, Dolan JW. Development of a P1 phagemid system for the delivery of DNA into Gram-negative bacteria. Microbiology. 2002 Apr;148(Pt 4):943-50. PubMed PMID: 11932441


Kasman LM, Kasman A, Westwater C, Dolan J, Schmidt MG, Norris JS. Overcoming the phage replication threshold: a mathematical model with implications for phage therapy. J Virol. 2002 Jun;76(11):5557-64. PubMed PMID: 11991984; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC137030


Schofield DA, Westwater C, Dolan JW, Norris JS, Schmidt MG. Doc-mediated cell killing in Shigella flexneri using a C1/LacI controlled expression system. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Oct 8;215(2):237-42. PubMed PMID: 12399040


Westwater C, Kasman LM, Schofield DA, Werner PA, Dolan JW, Schmidt MG, Norris JS. Use of genetically engineered phage to deliver antimicrobial agents to bacteria: an alternative therapy for treatment of bacterial infections. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2003 Apr;47(4):1301-7. PubMed PMID: 12654662; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC152521


Attaway H, Gooding CH, Schmidt MG. Biodegradation of BTEX vapors in a silicone membrane bioreactor system. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001 May;26(5):316-25. PubMed PMID: 11494109


Attaway H, Gooding CH, Schmidt MG. Comparison of microporous and nonporous membrane bioreactor systems for the treatment of BTEX in vapor streams. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 May;28(5):245-51. PubMed PMID: 11986927


Attaway HH, Schmidt MG. Tandem biodegradation of BTEX components by two Pseudomonas sp. Curr Microbiol. 2002 Jul;45(1):30-6. PubMed PMID: 12029524.


Renné, Walter G., Schmidt, M.G., Mennito, A., Vuthiganon, J., Chumov, A.  2015.  Novel Bacteriostatic and Anti-Collagenolytic Dental Materials Through The Incorporation Of Polyacrylic Acid Modified CuQ Nanoparticles.  US Patent 9,034,354