Monday, May 4, 2015

Spotlight on Evan Snitkin, Ph.D.

Dr. Evan Snitkin came to UM in the fall of 2014 as a new Assistant Professor in the departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Internal Medicine. Dr. Snitkin received his PhD in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from Boston University in 2009, where his research focused on the application of genome-scale metabolic modeling to study the structure and function of Saccharomyces cerevisiae’s metabolic network. Dr. Snitkin went on to do his postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health, where he developed a deep interest in clinical research, focused on the application of genomics to study the evolution and epidemiology of multi-drug resistant bacteria responsible for healthcare associated infections. Among his major accomplishments was being the first to apply whole genome sequencing to molecularly characterize hospital outbreaks of multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. In addition to continuing his work in the realm of genomic epidemiology, Dr. Snitkin also plans to apply different omics and analytical methodologies to study the evolution and physiology of hospital-associated pathogens. The overall goal of this research is to understand the selective pressures driving the evolution of these pathogens, and to ultimately apply these insights to guide the development of evolutionarily aware therapeutic strategies. Dr. Snitkin’s work is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. In addition to ongoing collaborations with infectious diseases researchers and practitioners, Dr. Snitkin is eager to become more engaged with experimental, mathematical and computational researchers at UM with interests in microbial evolution, systems biology and infectious disease.