Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Harvard Medical School; Microbiologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Gerald B. Pier, Ph.D. is a Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunology) at Harvard Medical School and a Microbiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and then had a National Research Council post-doctoral fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Division of Infectious Diseases. His major research focus is in the areas of bacterial pathogenesis, with a strong focus on biofilm composition and function and their role in persistence, drug resistance, and chronic infection, host-pathogen interactions, defining microbial fitness factors and their impact on antimicrobial resistance and microbial virulence and pathogenesis, and discovery of antigenic targets for vaccines. In the latter area, his lab has discovered, developed, and moved into human testing several vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapeutics for infectious pathogens. Dr. Pier has published over 330 peer-reviewed papers, edited an immunology textbook for ASM Press, and contributed chapters to the major textbooks of medicine and infectious diseases. He has served on numerous NIH Study Sections as a full member, is an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of numerous professional organizations. His current research focuses on the role of antibiotic resistance in microbial fitness, the utility of the broadly expressed microbial surface polysaccharide, poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (PNAG) to serve as a vaccine target using both active and passive immunotherapies as well as on the alginate capsule of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. His lab is also highly invested in research on the molecular and cellular basis for hypersusceptibility of cystic fibrosis patients to specific pathogens and the impact of antimicrobial resistance in the progression of CF lung disease.