Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Courtney Ellison, PhD

Courtney Ellison, PhD [Marilyn and Scott Urdang Breakthrough Scientist] 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 regulation and function of type IV pili in Acinetobacter biofilm formation"
Institution: University of Georgia
Named Award: Marilyn and Scott Urdang Breakthrough Scientist
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Biophysics