Olaf Schneewind (University of Chicago)
MolBio Seminar Series
A native of Germany, Dr. Schneewind received both his M.D. (1988) and his Ph.D. (1988) in Microbiology from the University of Cologne. He obtained subsequent post-doctoral training at Rockefeller University's Laboratory of Bacteriology and Immunology under the mentorship of Dr. Vincent Fischetti. In 1992, he received his first appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, where he was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor (1997) and Professor (2001). Dr. Schneewind then joined the Biological Sciences Division faculty at the University of Chicago in 2001.
Dr. Schneewind's research program examines the mechanisms and strategies whereby pathogenic bacteria cause human diseases. His research has produced more than 75 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters. Dr. Schneewind has also served as an editorial board member for Molecular Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriology, and Trends in Microbiology. Additionally, he serves as a consultant to many well-known pharmaceutical companies, lending his academic expertise to translational research efforts.
"Staphylococcus aureus immune evasion and vaccine strategies to combat infection"
Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen that causes skin and soft tissue infections, sepsis and pneumonia. Abscess formation is a hallmark of staphylococcal infection as is the microbe’s cunning ability to cause recurrent disease. We examined the genetic requirements of S. aureus to promote abscess lesions or sepsis in mouse disease models. S. aureus prevents adaptive immune responses in mice through the secretion of protein A (SpA) and AdsA thereby blocking the physiological activities of antibodies, B cell development or immune signaling pathways. Based on these observations, we formulate strategies for subunit vaccines with the goal of defining the key protective antigens and preventing S. aureus disease in humans.
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