Preston Garcia

Associate Professor, Biology Program Coordinator

(802) 468-6463
Jeffords Center
Room 132
233 South Street


Preston Garcia joined the Natural Sciences faculty in August 2010. Dr. Garcia has been conducting microbiology research since my time as an undergraduate student in the lab of Bruce A. Wiggins, Ph. D. at James Madison University in Virginia.

Before attending graduate school, Dr. Garcia spent two years working as a departmental technician in the Biology department at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. There, he spent time helping faculty with research in Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell and Developmental Biology.

Dr. Garcia attended graduate school at the University of Connecticut where he earned his Master's of Science and Ph.D. under the direction of Daniel J. Gage, Ph.D. His research focused on the mechanisms of Succinate-Mediated Catabolite Repression in the nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbiont, Sinorhizobium meliloti.

After receiving his doctorate, he was an NIH Postdoctoral fellow in Infectious Disease at the University of Virginia working on vaccine development for the pathogen, Burkholderia mallei in the lab of Joanna B. Goldberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Garcia currently serves as the Biology Program coordinator and has continued his research from his graduate studies here at Castleton. He has received external grant support which has provided funding for undergraduate student independent research projects, summer stipends and travel to national meetings.


PostDoc, University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
M.S., University of Connecticut
B.S., James Madison University


  • Garcia, PP (PI), 6/1/2014-5/31/2015 “Evaluation of Sinorhizobium meliloti competitiveness in Medicago nodulation” Vermont Genetics Network Grant from the INBRE Program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), Components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). $25,000
  • Garcia, PP (PI), 2014 American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) Program award for Christopher Villa.$5000
  • Garcia, PP (PI), 6/1/2014-5/31/2015 “Assessment of S. meliloti competitive infection & nodulation of Medicago” VGN Undergraduate Research Support 2014 for Kelsey McKay. $5000
  • Garcia, PP (PI), 6/1/2014-5/31/2015 “Quantitative evaluation of S. meliloti nodulation during competition” VGN Undergraduate Research Support 2014 for Katelynn Leavey. $5,000
  • Garcia, PP (PI), 6/1/2013-5/31/2014 “Investigating metabolic regulation in the intracellular Sinorhizobium meliloti.” Vermont Genetics Network Grant from the INBRE Program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), Components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). $25,000
  • Garcia, PP (PI), 6/1/2013-12/31/2013 “Assaying the sensing capabilities of Sinorhizobium meliloti with sma0113 mutation.” VGN Undergraduate Research Support 2013. $5,000
  • Garcia, PP (PI), 6/1/2013-12/31/2013 “Role of crosstalk between the sma0113 and related genes in Sinorhizobium meliloti.” VGN Undergraduate Research Support 2013 $5,000
  • Garcia, PP (PI) 7/1/2012-6/30/2013 Faculty Advanced Study Grant, Castleton University “Characterization of a two-component global regulator in the bacterial symbiont, Sinorhizobium meliloti.” $6778 Memberships:
  • American Society for Microbiology • ASM Career Development Committee (2011-2013)
  • International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Selected publications
  • Sheftic, S. R., Garcia, P. P., White, E., Robinison, V. L., Gage, D. J. and A. T. Alexandrescu 2012. Nuclear magnetic resonance structure and dynamics of the response regulator Sma0114 from Sinorhizobium meliloti. Biochemistry 51: 6932
  • Sheftic SR, Garcia PP, Robinson VL, Gage DJ, Alexandrescu AT. 2011. NMR assignments for the Sinorhizobium meliloti response regulator Sma0114. Biomol NMR Assign. 5: 55-58
  • Garcia PP, Bringhurst RM, Pinedo CA, Gage DJ. 2010 Characterization of a two-component regulatory system that regulates succinate-mediated catabolite repression in Sinorhizobium meliloti. J. Bacteriol. 192: 5725-35
  • Forsyth MH, Cao P, Garcia PP, Hall JD, Cover TL. 2002 Genome-wide transcriptional profiling in a histidine kinase mutant of Helicobacter pylori identifies members of a regulon. J Bacteriol. 184: 4630-5.
  • Wiggins BA, Cash PW, Creamer WS, Dart SE, Garcia PP, Gerecke TM, Han J, Henry BL, Hoover KB, Johnson EL, Jones KC, McCarthy JG, McDonough JA, Mercer SA, Noto MJ, Park H, Phillips MS, Purner SM, Smith BM, Stevens EN, Varner AK. 2003. Use of antibiotic resistance analysis for representativeness testing of multiwatershed libraries. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69: 3399-4005. Abstracts
  • Moustafa D, Scarff JM, Garcia PP, Cassidy SB, DiGiandomenico A, Waag DM, Inzana TJ, and B. Goldberg JB. Protection in a Murine Model of Melioidosis and Glanders by Intranasal Immunization with Attenuated Salmonella Expressing Burkholderia mallei O Antigen. Poster presentation at the Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting. Wintergreen, VA. Feb. 2013.
  • Houck, SM, Garcia PP. “Prevalence of Salmonella enteritidis among small-scale cage-free and free-range laying flocks.” Poster presentation at Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont 31st Annual Winter Conference 2013
  • Garcia PP. “Teaching at an Undergraduate Institution: Transitioning from Postdoc to Faculty.” Invited Oral Presentation at the 112th ASM General Meeting. San Francisco, CA. June 17th, 2012
  • Garcia PP. Sinorhizobium genetics and Burkholderia vaccine development: foundations for a microbiology research program at a primarily undergraduate institution. Invited Oral Presentation at the James Madison University Biology Seminar Series. Harrisonburg, VA. October 2012.
  • Garcia, PP, Bondi, SK, Scarff, JM, DiGiandomenico A., Bandara A., Inzana TJ, Waag DM and Goldberg JB. “Development of a Vaccine Targeting Burkholderia mallei.” Poster presentation at the Mid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting. Wintergreen, VA. Feb. 2008.
  • Arango C, Garcia P, Bringhurst, R and D. Gage. “Signal transduction systems controlling catabolite repression in the nitrogen-fixing symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti.” Poster presentation at the Department of Energy Principal Investigator meeting. Washington DC, 2008
  • P. P. Garcia, V. L. Robinson, D. J. Gage. “Two Component Signal Transduction Involving Multiple PAS Domains and its Effect on Catabolite Repression in Sinorhizobium meliloti.” Poster presentation at the 107th ASM General Meeting. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. May 21-25, 2007
  • T. M. Terry, M. Rosado, P. Garcia, and B. Keenan. "Improving Group-based Active Learning Activities in the Microbiology Classroom". Poster presentation at ASM Undergraduate Microbiology Education Conference. Salt Lake City, Utah. May 17-29, 2002.
  • L. Terry, P. Garcia and M. Forsyth. “The Effects of Autoinducer-2 on Gene Expression in Helicobacter pylori” Poster presentation at the 102nd ASM General Meeting. Salt Lake City, Utah. May 19-23, 2002
  • 2012 Faculty-Student Research Grant, Castleton University
  • 2012 Natural Sciences Research Grant, Castleton University
  • 2011 Faculty-Student Research Grant, Castleton University