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Biological Sciences

Dr. Susanne DiSalvo

Portrait of Dr. Susanne DiSalvo

Assistant Professor, Safety Officer

Ph.D. Brown University, 2012

Office: SW 1295
Research Lab: SW 1325
Phone: (618) 650-5928

Courses Taught: Bacteriology (BIOL 250), Graduate Seminar (BIOL 595).

Research Interests: My research interests center on host-microbe interactions that span the symbiotic spectrum (from pathogenic to mutualistic). My lab aims to elucidate the mechanisms driving host-microbe associations, their phenotypic outcomes on both organisms, and the interplay between genotypes, environmental context, mechanisms, and outcomes. My lab primarily focuses on the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum as a model eukaryotic host for bacterial symbionts. Our main symbionts of interest include bacteria belonging to the plant-beneficial-environmental clade of Burkholderia and obligate unculturable bacterial symbionts from the Amoebophilus and Neochlamydia genera. To explore the interaction between bacteria and their amoeba hosts, we employ a variety of microbiological, molecular, and microscopy techniques.

Research Opportunities: Undergraduate and graduate students interested in working in my lab should contact me.

Selected Publications

DiSalvo S., Haselkorn T.S., Bashir U., Jimenez D.A., Brock D.A., Queller D.C., Strassmann J.E. Burkholderia bacteria infectiously induce the proto-farming symbiosis of Dictyostelium amoebae and food bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(36):E5029-37

DiSalvo S., Brock D.A., smith j., Queller D.C., Strassmann J.E. In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, density, not farming status, determines predatory success on unpalatable Escherichia coli. BMC Microbiology, 2014; 14:328.

DiSalvo S. and Serio T.R. Insights into Prion Biology: Integrating a Protein Misfolding Pathway with its Cellular Environment. Prion, 2011; 5(2).

DiSalvo S., Derdowski A.l., Pezza J.A., and Serio T.R. Dominant Prion Mutants Induce Curing Through Pathways That Promote Chaperone-Mediated Disassembly. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, 2011 March 20;18(4): 486-492.

Derdowski A., Sindi S.S., Klaips C.L., DiSalvo S., Serio T.R., A Size Threshold Limits Prion Transmission and Establishes Phenotypic Diversity. Science. 2010 Oct 29;330(6004):680-3.

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