Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Courtney Ellison, PhD

Dr. Ellison is investigating how single bacterial cells join together to form complex, multicellular structures called biofilms. Biofilms protect bacterial cells from antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, making them difficult to eliminate. Some biofilm-forming species may cause certain cancers, and biofilms of infectious bacteria threaten immunocompromised patients such as those undergoing chemotherapy. Dr. Ellison focuses on bacterial appendages called type IV pili that play a crucial role in biofilm formation. Understanding the role of pili and their contribution to biofilm progression may lead to novel therapies to eliminate biofilms. 

Project title: "The role of type IV pili in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation"
Institution: Princeton University
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Joshua W. Shaevitz, PhD, and Zemer Gitai, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biophysics