Barbara Irena Kazmierczak, MD, PhD
Photo: Barbara I Kazmierczak



Elected 2014

Dr. Kazmierczak is an infectious diseases physician and tenured faculty member in the Departments of Medicine and Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University. Her outstanding research has focused on defining the microbial and host factors that contribute to bacterial virulence, with the goal of influencing how we combat infections in the years to come. Dr. Kazmierczak’s research program focuses on the biology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen that causes acute and chronic infections of the respiratory tract. Three broad areas of P. aeruginosa biology are studied in her laboratory. Her research group discovers regulatory networks that control bacterial expression of virulence factors necessary for colonization and pathogenesis, including flagella, pili, and the type 3 secretion system. Second, they investigate how these virulence factors elicit and modulate immune responses in the host, using mouse models of acute pnuemonia. A third area of interest is cystic fibrosis (CF), a lethal genetic disorder characterized by chronic infections with P. aeruginosa and other opportunistic pathogens. Dr. Kazmierczak is currently examining how CF impacts the acquisition and proinflammatory potential of the gut and airway commensal flora in newborns and infants and asking to what extent this commensal flora can alter the behavior and fitness of potential pathogens like P. aeruginosa.