About our Editors
Steffen Backert, Editorial Board Member
Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen, Germany
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Steffen Backert is Professor and Chairman of Microbiology at the Department of Biology, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg/Germany.
Steffen received his PhD in 1996 from Humboldt University Berlin. His PhD work in the laboratory of Thomas Börner dealt with DNA structure and replication in mitochondria. From 1996-1997 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Brent Nielsen at Auburn University, and worked later as a group leader in the Department of Thomas Meyer at Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, where his studies focused on the molecular pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infections.
In 2003 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor (C1) at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg where he extended his research on other pathogens including Campylobacter jejuni and pathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC and EHEC). In 2008 he moved to Ireland to become Full Professor in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science at University College Dublin and in 2013 he was appointed to his current position at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Steffen’s research interests include diverse aspects of cell signaling, especially related to bacterial pathogen-host interactions and protein interactions mediated by tyrosine-phosphorylated bacterial effector proteins and eukaryotic SH2 domains. The injected bacterial effectors, such as CagA from H. pylori or Tir from EPEC strains, which are targeted by Src, Abl and other kinases, have been among the key topics in these studies. Steffen is also interested in bacterial type IV secretion processes, and signaling of bacteria to certain host cell receptors (fibronectin, integrins, E-cadherin etc.), Rho GTPases (Rac1 and Cdc42) and actin-binding proteins (cortactin and others) which are hijacked by pathogens for different purposes during the infection cycle.
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