James Urban Home Page

James Edward Urban, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Microbiology

Division of Biology, Ackert Hall Room 130
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-4901

Phone 785.532.6631
FAX 785.532.6653

E-mail to James E. Urban

A favorite PLACE of mine.

My mugshot if you are interested.

Below is a live-camera view of my office.

Research Experience

I am a microbiologist whose graduate and postdoctoral training was in microbial physiology and molecular biology, and my research interest remains there. My research effort specifically focuses on how bacteria regulate their growth and how their mechanisms of growth regulation allow them to cope with their environment. I have been fortunate to have had a host of undergraduate and graduate students work in my laboratory. Of the research accomplishments of my laboratory, I think the following ring my bell the loudest.

While at Kansas State University I have received grant support from BioServe Space Technologies, AlliedSignal Aerospace, Eli Lilly and Company, The National Science Foundation, The Bureau of General Research at Kansas State University, Research Corporation, The American Cancer Society, Inc., Kansas Division, American Cancer Society, Inc., The Nitragin Company, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Pharnum Companies, the Kansas Racing Commission, and the Kansas State University Research Foundation. A United States Patent has been granted for my rhizobial mutants which display enhanced nodulation.

Teaching Experience

I am in charge of teaching the Division of Biology's General Microbiology course. The course is a lecture (60%) laboratory (40%) course of 4 credit hours, and is the beginning course in the microbiology degree program. The course is offered in both the fall and spring semesters, and in the twenty plus years I have taught the course, over 8,000 students have enrolled. The course syllabus, sample exams, and lecture notes can be found on the Internet at the General Microbiology Homepage.

In the fall of 1997 I began offering a new, undergraduate, general education course in Public Health Biology. The course syllabus, assignment list, and lecture notes can be found on the Internet at the Public Health Biology Homepage.

I also assist in teaching the Division's beginning biology course, Principles of Biology.

In 1976 I was awarded a grant by NSF to develop, with the assistance of John Eads, an instructional technologist,an "Individualized Laboratory Course in Microbiology."

Representative Publications

Urban, J. E., and O. Wyss. 1969. Inhibition of genetic transformation in Bacillus subtilis by phenethyl alcohol. J. Gen. Microbiol. 56:6978.

Urban, J. E., and K. G. Lark. 1971. DNA replication in Escherichia coli 15T- growing at 20°C. J. Mol. Biol. 58:711-724.

Urban, J. E. 1974. Isolation of a new division altered mutant of Escherichia coli 15T-. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 60:1475-1481.

Urban, J. E. 1977, 1989, 1996. Laboratory Manual for Microbiology. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. 141 pp.

Urban, J. E. 1979. Non-dividing, bacteroid-like Rhizobium trifolii: In vitro induction via nutrient enrichment. Appl. and Environ. Microbiol. 38:11731178.

Urban, J. E. 1979. Variations in the cell cycle of slow-growing Escherichia coli 15T-. Microbios. 25:167-176.

Reagan, B. M., A. M. Rolow, and J. E. Urban. 1982. Microwave sanitization of polyester and cotton. Textile Res. Jour. 52:186-192.

Urban, J. E., and F. B. Dazzo. 1982. Succinate-induced morphology of Rhizobium trifolii 0403 resembles that of bacteroids in clover nodules. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 44:219226.

McArthur, J. V., G. R. Marzolf, and J. E. Urban. 1985. Interactions of the microflora of a prairie stream with dissolved organic matter from riparian vegetation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 49:238-241.

Urban, J. E., L. C. Davis, and S. J. Brown. 1986. Rhizobium trifolii 0403 is capable of growth in the absence of combined nitrogen. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 52:1060-1067.

Urban, J. E. 1988. Succinate-sensitive, nodulation-enhancing Rhizobium mutants for use with legumes. United States Patent #4,720,461.

Bolsen, K. K., C. Lin, B. E. Brent, A. M. Feyerherm, J. E. Urban, and W. R. Aimutis. 1992. Effect of silage additives on the microbial succession and fermentation process of alfalfa and corn silages. J. Dairy Sci. 75:3066-3083.

Urban, James E., Richard Gerren, and Jeffery Zoelle. 1994. Effects of microgravity on the binding of acetylsalicylic acid by the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii. Acta Astronautic 36:129-133.

Post, D. M., and J.E. Urban. 1994. Antimicrobial activity of dogwood fruits (Cornus drummondii) from winter food caches of the eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana). J. Chem. Ecol. 21:419-425.

Berger, M., and J. E. Urban. 1966 Methods for increasing survivability during storage of exponentially growing bacteria. Current Microbiol. 33:312-316.

Urban, J. E. 1997. Microgravity Effects on the Legume/Rhizobium Symbiosis. Am.Inst. Physics. Conf. Proc. 387, Albuquerque, NM, January 26-30. pp.755-759.

Urban, J. E., and A. Broce. 1998 Flies and their bacterial loads in greyhound dog kennels in Kansas. Current Microbiol. 36:164-170.

Urban, J. E. 1998. Microgravity effects on magnetotactic bacteria. Space Technol. Appl. Intl. Forum-1998. Am.Inst. Physics. Conf. Proc. 420, Albuquerque, NM, January 25-29. pp.761-764.

Urban, J. E. 2000. Adverse effects of microgravity on the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum. Acta Astronautica 47:775-780.

Urban. J. E., L. Supra, and A. MacKnight. 2000. Evaluation of conditions necessary for successful bioprocessing of gray water in a microgravity environment. Space Technol. Appl. Intl. Forum-2000. Am. Inst. Physics. Conf. Proc: 504, Albuquerque, NM, January 30-February 3. pp. 540-547.

Urban, J. E., and A. Broce. 2000. Killing of flies in electrocuting insect traps releases bacteria and viruses. Current Microbiol. 41:267-270.

Supra, L. N., B. W. Finger, M. A. Reddig, A. K. MacKnight, J. A. Silverstein, D. M. Klaus, J. E. Urban, and D. F. Strayer. 2000. Biological wastewater processor experiment definition. 30th Int'l. Conf. Env. Sys. (ICES), SAE, No. 2000-01-2468. 11 pp.

Predicala, B. Z., R. G. Maghirang, S. B. Jerez, J. E. Urban, and R. D. Goodband. 2001. Dust and bioaerosol concentrations in two swine-finishing buildings in Kansas. Trans ASAE. 44:1291-1298.

Predicala, B. Z., J. E. Urban, R. G. Maghirang, S. B. Jerez, and R. D. Goodband. 2002. Assessment of bioaerosols in swine barns by filtration and impaction. Current Microbiol. 44:136-140.

An, K., D. B. Urban, J. E. Urban, and T. C. Johnson. A mammalian regulatory agent, CeReS-18, inhibits yeast cell proliferation but not bacterial replication. Submitted to Current Microbiol.


B.A., University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1965, Microbiology

Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1968, Microbiology-Molecular Biology


Assistant and Associate Professor, Division of Biology, Kansas State University Manhattan, 1970 --present.

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Kansas State University, Manhattan, with Dr. K. G. Lark. September. 1968- August 1970.

National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Trainee at University of Texas, Austin, with Dr. Orville Wyss. June-August 1968.

Honors and Awards

Bachelor of Arts with Honors.

Environmental Engineering and Sciences Training Grant, February, 1965-January, 1967.

National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship, February, 1967-May 1968.

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, September, 1968-August, 1970.

William L. Stamey Teaching Award, 1989.

Information Current as of September 1, 2002