Susanne received her BS from The Evergreen State College where she worked on bacteriophages with Dr. Elizabeth Kutter and her PhD from Brown University studying fungal prion biology under the guidance of Dr. Tricia Serio. During her PhD work, Susanne discovered that the mechanism of prion curing by two point mutants of the yeast prion protein Sup35 occurs through distinct mechanisms that promote chaperone mediated prion disaggregation. Susanne comes to our lab with a broad interest in the causes and consequences of host-pathogen/eukaryote-microbe interactions. Dictyostelium discoideum presents an alluring platform with which to address diverse eukaryote-microbe interactions due to its dynamic relationship with bacteria. For instance, D. discoideum is a predator of bacterial prey, can be infected by bacterial pathogens, and has the potential to form symbiotic associations with several bacterial species (“farmer” D. discoideum clones). Susanne’s goal in the lab is to further characterize the associations between farmer clones and their bacterial passengers, highlight the molecular distinctions between farmer and non-farmer clones, and examine how differential interactions between amoeba and bacteria influence the evolutionary trajectory of both partners.
- DiSalvo, S., Haselkorn, TS., Bashir, U., Jimenez, D., Brock, DA., Queller, DC., Strassmann, JE. 2015. Burkholderia bacteria infectiously induce the protofarming symbiosis of Dictyostelium amoebae and food bacteria. PNAS, 2015 112 (36) E5029-E5037
- DiSalvo, S., Brock, D.A., smith, j., Queller, D.C., Strassmann, J.E. 2014. In the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, density, not farming status,
determines predatory success on unpalatable Escherichia coli, BMC Microbiology
- 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