Dr. Paula Traktman Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Published on: 5/22/2013

Paula Traktman, PhD, Walter Schroeder Professor and Chairman of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), has been elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. More than two thousand Fellows represent all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service

Dr. Traktman, who is also Senior Associate Dean for Research Development at MCW, has focused her current NIH-funded research on studying the life cycle of the vaccinia virus, which is similar to the smallpox virus. Work in her laboratory has focused primarily on how the virus directs the accurate replication of its DNA and how it coordinates its life cycle with a network of signals generated by dynamic protein modification.

This work has direct applications to the development of antiviral drugs that would protect in the event of exposure to smallpox virus or other members of the poxvirus family. In addition, malfunction of the basic biochemical and genetic processes she studies underlies many disease states. For example, errors in DNA replication and protein regulation are both implicated in the development of birth defects and cancer.

Dr. Traktman served a fellowship at Harvard Medical School, received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her A.B. from Harvard University, magna cum laude, in 1974.

The American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology. The Society is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM’s mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide