Principal Investigator

Dr. Daniel Pletzer

Dr. Pletzer obtained his BSc in Bioinformatics (2009) from the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria (Dept. of Medical- and Bioinformatics) working on computational gene prediction and large genome comparisons.

After completing his BSc, he moved to Germany and joined the Jacobs University Bremen where he obtained his MSc in Molecular Genetics (2011). Under the supervision of Prof. Mathias Ullrich he studied metabolic transcription factors and DNA binding sites in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae.

He decided to stay at the same university to pursue a PhD in Microbiology under the supervision of Dr. Helge Weingart working on RND-type multidrug efflux pumps and ABC nutrient transporters. His PhD 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 (2014).

After graduation, he continued with a short Postdoc in the lab of Prof. Mathias Winterhalter working on the characterization of outer membrane proteins (i.e., porins) from Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus species (2014-2015).

He obtained a Feodor-Lynen Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and joined the lab of Prof. Bob Hancock in Vancouver, Canada as a Postdoctoral researcher (2015-2019). His research had a strong focus on novel therapeutic treatment strategies based on host defence peptides, bacterial stress response, biofilm and persistence, ESKAPE pathogens, and animal models.

He further received a 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 at the rank of Lecturer to continue the fight against infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.


Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Postdoctoral Research Trainee Award
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Vancouver, Canada, 2018 – 2019

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Canada, Vancouver, Canada, 2017 – 2019

Postdoctoral Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Vancouver, Germany/Canada, 2015 – 2017

Other Awards

Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada)
Pseudomonas Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2019

Summer Studentship Award, Postdoc Program (Centre for Blood Research, UBC)
Vancouver, Canada, 2019

Summer Studentship Award, Postdoc Program (Centre for Blood Research, UBC)
Vancouver, Canada, 2018

Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada)
Conference on Infectious Diseases, Banff, Canada, 2018

Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada)
Pseudomonas Conference, Liverpool, England, 2017

Summer Studentship Award, Postdoc Program (Centre for Blood Research, UBC)
Vancouver, Canada, 2017

Travel Award (Centre for Blood Research)
Pseudomonas Conference, 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

Editorial roles

Dr. Pletzer is an Associate Editor in Infectious Diseases and Guest Associate Editor in Antimicrobials, Resistance and Chemotherapy

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

Dr. Pletzer is a member of the Reviewer Board in International Journal of Molecular Sciences and Guest Editor in Pathogens

Teaching roles @

University of Otago

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

Scholarly network