Irwin Tessman Symposium

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Stefan Pukatzki

Stefan Pukatzki

Stefan Pukatzki, PhD (Faculty Web Page)
Professor of Immunology & Microbiology

Dr. Pukatzki earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City where he studied with Richard Kessin to determine how cells differentiate to take on new tasks. Using the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum as a model - this organism consists only of two basic cell types - he identified a protein degradation pathway as a crucial contributor of cellular differentiation. Class work with Howard Shuman and Aaron Mitchell inspired him to focus on bacterial pathogenesis and to help develop the Dictyostelium host model system. Since then he has used this model to study the pathogenesis of the bacterial pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa (pneumonia), Vibrio cholerae (diarrheal disease cholera), and Acinteobacter baumannii (hospital-acquired infections). While a research fellow in the laboratory of John Mekalanos at Harvard Medical School, he discovered that the type VI secretion pathway of Vibrio cholerae acts as a virulence trait for this enteric pathogen. 

Dr. Pukatzki joined the faculty of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2016 where he is expanding on his discovery by working on the molecular mechanisms that drive microbial pathogenesis.