Marie Beitelshees

PhD 2019

Marie Beitelshees at helm of sailboat.

“The proximity to the great lakes has allowed me to join a women's sailboat racing league which I look forward to each summer. Moving to Buffalo has also let me be closer to my family.”


My research was focused on the development of more effective vaccines against commensal bacteria with a focus on Streptococcus pneumoniae. To do this, I worked in conjunction with the startup company, Abcombi Biosciences, on vaccine delivery technology that overcomes the manufacturing limitations of current solutions. I focused on a biofilm model that allows for the expression of the virulent biofilm released phase, which could lead to the discovery of new protective antigens. It is my hope that the research and entrepreneurial experience I have gained through these projects will lead to a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, the focus of my research, is the common cause of pneumonia and results in the most antibiotic prescriptions. Globally, it is also a leading cause of death in children under 5 years old. A more efficacious vaccine against this bacteria could greatly improve the quality of life throughout the world. In my professional career, I hope to continue the development of vaccines and therapeutics so as to make a positive impact on the world.