Welcoming Dr. Som Chatterjee!
Dr. Som Chatterjee received his Ph.D.at the Institute for Medical Microbiology in Giessen, Germany. Before joining the faculty at IMET, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health and a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined the IMET faculty in January 2019. He has a joint appointment with the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Dentistry and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
What are you researching and why is it important?
I study antimicrobial resistance in the bacteria Staph aureus. This makes a difference because antimicrobial resistance is expected to kill more people than cancer by 2050. Staph is an important pathogen, and we need to understand how bacteria gain resistance. Once we know how resistance works, then we may be able to use that knowledge to come up with a novel drug therapy.
How did you choose to study Staph aureus?
Staph infections are very common, making it medically relevant. In addition, if you compare different bacteria and how they gain resistance, Staph outcome beats most others. It can gain resistance faster than other bacteria for reasons that we don’t yet understand.
Why did you choose IMET?
When I visited, I saw the state of the research facilities and I felt that I would have the support I need as I start my lab. This area is very scientifically vibrant, with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, the National Institutes of Health, and a number of other universities in the vicinity. This creates many opportunities for research collaborations.
What are you most excited about pursuing in the coming year?
I’m very excited to build up my research group, write new proposals, and have new collaborations. I look forward to contributing to the mission of IMET, as well as the UMB School of Dentistry.