Dr Daniel Pletzer A journey from Austria to New Zealand

Dr Daniel Pletzer started his journey with a Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics (2009) at the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria (Dept. of Medical- and Bioinformatics). The practical component of his thesis entitled ‘Computational gene prediction and large genome comparisons’ was done at the Harvard School of Public Health (Murray lab) in Boston, Massachusetts.

After completing his undergraduate degree, he moved to Germany where he joined the Jacobs University Bremen. Under the supervision of Prof. Mathias Ullrich, he investigated metabolic transcription factors in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. He finished with a Master of Science in Molecular Genetics in 2011.

He continued his journey with a doctoral study at the same university under the supervision of Dr. Helge Weingart. In 2014, he received a PhD in Microbiology and his thesis “Drug export and nutrient import: Insights from the bacterial model organisms Erwinia amylovora and Pseudomonas aeruginosa” was awarded a special distinction (summa cum laude).

He continued with a short Postdoc in the lab of Prof. Mathias Winterhalter working on the characterization of small outer membrane proteins from Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus species (2014-2015).

In 2015, Daniel was awarded one of Germany’s most prestigious Feodor-Lynen Postdoctoral Fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. With this fellowship in hand, he joined the lab of world-renowned microbiologist Prof. Bob Hancock in Vancouver, Canada (2015-2019). As a Postdoctoral researcher, his research focused on novel therapeutic treatment strategie (including host defence peptides, nanoparticles and peptidomimetics), bacterial stress response, biofilm and persistence, ESKAPE pathogens, and various animal models.

He further received a national Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Canada Foundation (2017) and a Postdoctoral Research Trainee Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2018).

In November 2019, he joined the Microbiology & Immunology Department at the University of Otago in a tenure-track position at the rank of Lecturer (Assistant Professor) to continue the fight against infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

Editorial Roles

Associate Editor – Frontiers in Microbiology – Infectious Agents and Disease 

Guest Associate Editor – Frontiers in Microbiology – Antimicrobials, Resistance and Chemotherapy

Associate Editor – Frontiers in Antibiotics – Antibiotic Development

Dr. Pletzer Daniel is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board in ACS – Infectious Diseases

Teaching Roles

  • MICR222: Microbes in Action
  • MICR331: Food Microbiology (Convenor)
  • MICR360: Research Perspectives
  • MICR461: Molecular Microbiology
  • MICR462: Microbiology and Immunology Research
  • MICR463: Trends in Microbiology and Immunology
  • MICR490: Microbiology Research Projects
  • GENE490: Genetics Research Projects
  • PHCY430: Elective Studies

Other Roles

Secretary (2022-2026)

The New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Organising Committee – Congress Poster Chair (2021)

Session Chair – Antimicrobial Resistance (2019)

Awards and Fellowships

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Other Awards
  • Outstanding Associate Editor Award (Frontiers in Microbiology) - 2021
  • Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada) - Pseudomonas Conference in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia 2019)
  • Summer Studentship Award - Postdoctoral Program (Centre for Blood Research UBC) - Vancouver (Canada 2019)
  • Summer Studentship Award - Postdoctoral Program (Centre for Blood Research UBC) - Vancouver (Canada 2018)
  • Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada) - Conference on Infectious Diseases in Banff (Canada 2018)
  • Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada) - Pseudomonas Conference in Liverpool (England 2017)
  • Summer Studentship Award - Postdoctoral Program (Centre for Blood Research UBC) - Vancouver (Canada 2017)
  • Travel Award (Centre for Blood Research) - Pseudomonas Conference in Liverpool (England 2016)
  • PhD Thesis with Special Distinction summa cum laude (Jacobs University Bremen) - Bremen (Germany 2014)
  • Excellence Award in Academic Teaching (Jacobs University Bremen) - Bremen (Germany 2012)
  • Graduate Scholarship (Jacobs University Bremen) - Bremen (Germany 2009 – 2011)

Scholarly networks