Som Chatterjee

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Som Chatterjee

Research Interests

Our laboratory is interested in understanding the fundamental biological principles that lead to Staphylococcus aureus infections, an important human bacterial pathogen that is responsible for causing high morbidity and mortality worldwide. During the course of the past 4-5 years, our research has identified several interesting and novel pathways that are involved in beta-lactam resistance in S. aureus. Beta-lactam drugs remain as one of the gold standards of treatment for bacterial infections due to their superior efficacy and safety over other drugs. Widespread resistance in bacteria however limits its use. Studying novel pathways will decipher their role/s in the beta-lactam resistance process. Moreover, our work will elucidate various unknown aspects of basic biology, such as bacterial cell signaling, gene regulation and protein-protein interactions, which are crucial for bacterial resistance.

We are always looking for motivated and collegial candidates for the lab. If you are interested in our research questions please contact with your CV and a statement explaining why you would like to work in our group.

Current Research Foci:

  • Decipher the biological basis for pathogenic of S. aureus using a wide variety of molecular biology, genomic, biochemical, and immunological approaches.
  • Study beta-lactam drug resistant phenotypes and genotypes through proteomics and genomics.
  • Explore non-canonical (novel) targets responsible for beta-lactam resistance in S. aureus to re-sensitize resistant bacteria to beta-lactam drugs.
  • Explore novel approaches, such as developing nano-bodies, to treat staphylococcal infections.

About the Principal Investigator:

Dr. Chatterjee received his master’s degree from the Department of Biophysics and Molecular Biology, University of Kolkata (Calcutta), India. He then went on to perform his doctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. Trinad Chakraborty in Justus-Liebig University, Germany where he studied the infection process of Listeria monocytogenes, an intracellular pathogen that is responsible for causing food-borne illnesses.

After completing his PhD, he joined Dr. Michael Otto’s group at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the secretion process of a group of cytolytic peptide toxins called Phenol Soluble Modulins (PSMs) in S. aureus. In 2014, Dr. Chatterjee joined Dr. Henry Chambers’ group at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to study the major public health problem of antimicrobial resistance in S. aureus. In 2015, he became an Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCSF.

In January of 2019, Dr. Chatterjee joined the faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He is a member of the UMB School of Dentistry Department of Microbial Pathogenesis. He is currently based at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), where he continues to investigate antimicrobial resistance in S. aureus.  Research in the Chatterjee lab is funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 and R21) and through University Systems of Maryland (seed funding).

Publications (selected):

a)    Lai LY, Satishkumar N, Cardozo S, Hemmadi V, Marques LB, Huang L, Filipe SR, Pinho MG, Chambers HF, Chatterjee SS. Altered PBP4 and GdpP functions synergistically mediate MRSA-like high-level, broad-spectrum β-lactam resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. mBio. 2024 Mar 26;:e0288923. doi: 10.1128/mbio.02889-23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 38530033.
b)    Alexander JAN, Worrall LJ, Hu J, Vuckovic M, Satishkumar NPoon R, Sobhanifar S, Rosell FI, Jenkins J, Chiang D, Mosimann WA, Chambers HF, Paetzel M, Chatterjee SS, Strynadka NCJ. Structural basis of broad-spectrum β-lactam resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Nature. 2023 Jan 4;. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05583-3. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 36599987.  
c)    Satishkumar N, Lai LY, Mukkayyan N, Vogel BE, Chatterjee SS. A Nonclassical Mechanism of β-Lactam Resistance in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Its Effect on Virulence. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 Dec 21;10(6):e0228422. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02284-22. Epub 2022 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 36314912; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9769611.
d)    Mukkayyan N, Poon R, Sander PN, Lai LY, Zubair-Nizami Z, Hammond MC, Chatterjee SS. In Vivo Detection of Cyclic-di-AMP in Staphylococcus aureus. ACS Omega. 2022 Sep 13;7(36):32749-32753. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c04538. eCollection 2022 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 36120079; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9476191.
e)    Poon R, Basuino LSatishkumar N, Chatterjee A, Mukkayyan N, Buggeln E, Huang L, Nair V, Argudín MA, Datta SK, Chambers HF, Chatterjee SSLoss of GdpP function in Staphylococcus aureus leads to β-lactam tolerance and enhanced evolution of β-lactam resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Nov 29;:AAC0143121. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01431-21. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34843389.
f)    Satishkumar N, Alexander JAN, Poon R, Buggeln E, Argudín MA, Strynadka NCJ, Chatterjee SSPBP4-mediated β-lactam resistance among clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2021 Jun 21;. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkab201. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34151961.

Talks and News:

a)    Chatterjee Lab public lecture:
b)    UMSOD Featuring on Chatterjee Lab:


About the Lab Members:

headshot of Raymond PoonRaymond Poon, B.S.

Raymond graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a concentration in Immunology. After completing his degree, he interned for two semesters in a program called “Bridge to Biotechnology.” through City College of San Francisco. In 2018, he began to work in Dr. Chatterjee’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, and in 2019, he relocated to Baltimore, Maryland where he continues his research. He studies the roles of various targets on beta-lactam resistance and performs computational work.


headshot of Nidhi SatishkumarNidhi Satishkumar, M.S.

Nidhi completed her Master’s in Biotechnology at Fergusson College, India in 2018. During and after completing her Master’s degree, she interned at the R&D unit of Gennova Biopharmaceuticals in India, where she worked on overexpression and analysis of therapeutic proteins. She also interned at Tata Medical Center, Kolkata where her project involved optimizing a protocol for cytotoxicity assays to analyze the effect of chemotherapeutic drugs on leukemic cells. In 2019, she joined Dr. Chatterjee’s lab as a PhD student, and her current project focuses on the mechanisms by which PBP4 mediates resistance to antimicrobial drugs in S. aureus.

  • Nominated for Student of the Year, 2022 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Member of Graduate Student Organization (GSO), MEES Program
  • Awarded second place at American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Maryland Branch J. Howard Brown Outstanding Graduate Student Award (June 2022)
  • Awarded second place for the 3-minute student talk on “PBP4 associated β-lactam resistance in clinical strains of S. aureus” at MEES Colloquium (Oct. 2021)


headshot of vijay hammedi

Vijay Hammedi, PhD.

Vijay graduated from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore, India, with a postgraduate degree in Biochemistry. During his master's program, he sought to comprehend how bacteria interact with their host. Vijay deciphered the role of moonlighting proteins in the pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus during his doctoral research at the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India. As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Chatterjee's lab, he is investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the emergence of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.

Lab Alumni: 

Aditi Chatterjee, Ph.D.     

Zahra Zubair-Nizami, B.S.

Breanna Shirtliff, B.S.   

Nagaraja Mukkayyan (NM), Ph.D.

Stephanie Wilson, B.S

Li-Yin Lai, Ph.D.

headshot of Li-Yin Lai

6 members of the Chatterjee Lab standing outside among trees

Chatterjee Lab, 2022 (From left: Som Chatterjee, Li-Yin Lai, Nidhi Satishkumar, Sasha Cardozo, Raymond Poon; not pictured: Stephanie Wilson)

Chatterjee Lab, 2021 (Top from left: Breanna Shirtliff, Li-Yin Lai, Nidhi Satishkumar; Bottom from left: Som Chatterjee, Nagaraja Mukkayyan, Raymond Poon)

All lab members pose for a photo

Chatterjee Lab, 2019 (From Left: Nagaraja Mukkayyan, Raymond Poon, Zahra Zubair-Nazami, Aditi Chatterjee, Nidhi Satishkumar, Som Chatterjee)