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Karla Satchell

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Anne Stewart Youmans Professor, Professor of Microbiology-Immunology
Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases


Areas of Focus

  • Microbiology
  • Bacteria
  • Structural biology
  • Cholera
  • Vibrio vulnificus
  • Coronavirus
  • Bacterial toxins


  • Uses combination of microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology and structural biology to study infectious disease mechanisms
  • Revealed the mechanism by which the bacterium that causes cholera hides from the host immune system
  • Discovered how a novel toxin made by bacteria can be repurposed to treat cancer
  • Currently studying the protein structure of the COVID-19 coronavirus to inform possible vaccine development


Dr. Satchell leads the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases that solves nearly 100 protein structures each year.  She is a fellow of the American Association of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been recognized as a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator of Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases.