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Julie Pfeiffer, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Microbiology
  • Kern and Marnie Wildenthal President's Research Council Professorship in Medical Science
  • TAMEST O’Donnell Award in Science
  • HHMI Faculty Scholar
  • Pew Scholar
Julie Pfeiffer
“A career in science is wonderful.”

Early Influences

Dr. Pfeiffer developed a passion for research early in life. “I had a fantastic teacher, Sue Schiel, who included a research study as part of our advanced biology course in high school. I've been hooked on research ever since."

Contributions to STEMM

Currently, Dr. Pfeiffer leads the Pfeiffer lab as Principal Investigator. Here, she guides her team’s efforts in examining viruses and host defenses. “My lab studies RNA viruses.” Specifically, she is fascinated by the evolution of viruses and their capacity to cause disease.

“I love learning new things about how viruses replicate and evolve,” said Dr. Pfeiffer.

“Creating new knowledge is incredibly exciting and rewarding."

Her other areas of research interest include circadian control of viral infections and enteric viruses such as poliovirus and reovirus.

Dr. Pfeiffer’s contributions to microbiology reverberate far beyond the walls of UT Southwestern. Her research regarding the role of bacteria in viral infections has been applied to discover the antiviral effects of antibiotics. This has been leveraged to improve treatment and inform research around pervasive viruses.

Commitment to Mentorship

“Overall, my goal is to train the next generation of scientists to make basic science discoveries that have the potential to enhance treatment for, or prevent RNA virus infections. I have trained many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and I am extremely committed to enhancing diversity among the biomedical workforce at all levels – students, postdocs, staff, and faculty.”

This commitment came full circle when “one of my postdoctoral fellows, Arielle Woznica, Ph.D., was awarded the prestigious Howard Hughes Hanna H. Gray Fellowship in 2018.”

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