I am gay and I am a molecular microbiologist and biochemist.//
I am Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the Université de Montréal since 2008. I was born in Toronto and grew up in Germany where I obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Munich in 1993, followed by postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley in the US. In 1997 I returned to the University of Munich, and in 2002 I was recruited to McMaster University in Hamilton (Ontario) as Associate Professor in the Biology Department. In 2008, I joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine as Chair, and I was then Vice-Dean of research and development at the Faculty of Medicine (2015-2020). My research interests are in the field of bacterial type IV secretion systems. These are membrane-bound multiprotein complexes mediating the translocation of macromolecules across the bacterial cell envelope. They are required for the virulence of many bacterial pathogens and for the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between bacteria by conjugation. Increasing resistance to antimicrobials is a big medical problem and novel treatment options are urgently needed.
I came out relatively late in my life when I was 28 and I have been happily married to my husband Andreas since 2003.