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Interview with Visiting Faculty, Dr. Blaine Pfeifer

Dr. Blaine Pfeifer, Professor at the University of Buffalo’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

1. Tell me about yourself.

I’m a visiting faculty from the University at Buffalo completing a portion of a sabbatical year at McMaster.  I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Eric Brown a couple of years ago, and he was nice enough to invite me to a seminar in early 2016.  I’d known about the strong environment at McMaster prior to this visit and thought that spending some time here during my sabbatical – especially given the proximity to Buffalo – would be a wonderful way to learn more about the research being conducted and any potential collaborative opportunities.  It’s been a great stay and I’ve learned a lot both about the terrific research ongoing at Mac and the surrounding Hamilton area. 

2. What is your area or research?

My background is in chemical engineering, but my research program has a strong applied biology aspect to it.  In particular, we are interested in small molecule therapeutics and vaccine candidates for infectious disease, which made the overlap with ongoing research in the IIDR a key reason for my interest in spending time at McMaster.

3. What type of work are you doing within the IIDR?

I’ve been located in Eric’s laboratory during my stay here, but have had excellent conversations with Nathan Magarvey, Gerry Wright, and Dawn Bowdish, amongst others and including their students.  There’s excellent synergy with the work my group is doing on antibiotic discovery, antibiotic adjuvant potential, and vaccine design that I’m keen on molding into various grant applications and future collaborations.

 4. Why is your area of work important?

 Very much in line with the IIDR, an area of interest is new options for emerging, recalcitrant, or evolving infectious diseases, so it was an excellent opportunity to interact with the labs here.

5. What are your plans for the future?

The goal would be for follow-up collaborative research, aided by the close proximity between Hamilton and Buffalo.

Check out Dr. Pfeifer’s UB profile here.