Susanne DiSalvo (

SDisalvo Prof Pic

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.