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 (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.

Dr. Pletzer is an Associated Editor of Frontiers in Microbiology – Infectious Diseases.


  • Travel Award (Cystic Fibrosis Canada), Pseudomonas Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2019
  • Summer studentship award, Postdoc Program (Centre for Blood Research, UBC), Vancouver, Canada, 2019
  • Postdoctoral Research Trainee Award, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Vancouver, Canada , 2018 – 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
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Canada, Vancouver, Canada, 2017 – 2019
  • 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
  • Postdoctoral Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Vancouver, Germany/Canada, 2015 – 2017
  • PhD Thesis with Special Distinction (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

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