For the latest COVID-19 campus news and resources, visit

Search Close Search
Search Close Search

Twarting antibiotic resistance in Pseudmonas aeruginosa

Read Pukkila-Worley, MD talks about the research in his laboratory

Pukkila-Worley laboratory

The major goal of the Pukkila-Worley laboratory is to characterize mechanisms of immune homeostasis in intestinal epithelial cells. We aim to use these discoveries to identify innate immune pathways that can be exploited to develop new therapies, which can modulate host immune activity.

Our laboratory uses C. elegans as a discovery platform to define evolutionarily ancient mechanisms of pathogen sensing and immune activation. On the right, a photograph of a nematode that has been infected with the important human bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aerginosa, is shown. Individual bacteria can be visualized within the markedly distended intestinal lumen of the animals.  Also shown is a socially-distanced celebration for Kyle Foster, who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in September 2020.

Pukkila-Worley lab photo

Research icon












Nick Peterson, MD, PhD Candidate and Read Pukkila-Worley talk about the scientific and training environment at UMASS Medical School.

Exciting news from the Pukkila-Worley Lab

  • 3/10/22: R01 renewal success. Score in the 2nd percentile!!
  • 1/31/22: Nick's paper featured on thecover of eLife!!
  • 8/18/21: Nick featured in a #studentspotlight on UMassMedNow

  • 6/28/21: OMG!  A score in the 1st percentile on a new R01!! 
  • 6/3/21: Nick won the Dean's Award for Outstanding Mid-thesis Research!
  • 5/12/21: Sarah sucessfully defended her thesis!
  • 5/6/21: Read won the Outstanding Foundation Medical Educator Award
  • 4/16/21: More funding! The Riccio Fund for Neuroscience!
  • 3/4/21: Fundable score on an R21 at NIAID.  Wahoo!
  • 1/12/21: Awesome write-up about Nick and Sammy! proud of them!

  • 12/8/20: Sammy awarded an F30 NRSA fellowship: The lab's second! 
  • 10/8/20: Sarah's review was published in PLOS Pathogens
  • 9/11/20: Kyle defended his Ph.D. thesis!!
  • 4/7/20: Kyle published his thesis work in Cell Reports!!  Such an exciting day.
  • 4/6/20: We got a Notice of Allowance for a U.S. Patent on a new antihelminthic drug target

  • 12/20/19: Nick, MD/PhD student, got an F30 grant funded!
  • 10/22/19: Competitive renewal success!  Thank you Kenneth Rainin Foundation!
  • 10/15/19: New pub from our lab in PNASCongrats Sarah and Hilary!
  • 6/17/19: Sarah's paper was published in PLOS Pathogens
  • 4/5/19: Nick was awarded a career development award from IDSA! 
  • 1/22/19: Nick and Hilary published a paper in PLOS Genetics.

  • 12/19/18: Elizabeth, our research tech, got into med school!
  • 10/1/18: Rainin Foundation was competitively renewed (press release)
  • 8/9/18: Kyle, Sarah and Nick all got spots on institutional training grants!
  • 7/1/18: Kyle Foster won a Poster Award at 2018 SPAMS C. elegans Meeting
  • 5/1/18: Check out Nick's review in Current Opinion in Immunology 

  • 8/24/17: Ranin Foundation Innovator Award (Ranin press releaseUMass announcent)
  • 8/3/17: A nice write-up about our work on UMassMed Now
  • 6/21/17: Our R01 was funded by NIH/NIAID

  • 9/28/16: A review from our lab in PLOS Pathogens
  • 3/1/16: Our paper was published in G3: Genes, Genomes and Genetics .
  • 11/17/16: Excited to receive a grant from the Charles H. Hood Foundation


Email Read to apply or with questions or to apply.

Page Menu