Magdalene Yh So

Research Interests

Magdalene So, PhD, is a Professor in the Immunobiology Department and Director of the Microbial Pathogenesis Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. So is recognized internationally for her research in the microbial pathogenesis. Her research focuses on two medically important bacterial pathogens: Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes over 100 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections each year worldwide, and Neisseria meiningitidis, which frequently causes meningitis epidemics in Subharan Africa. Her goal is to understand on how these two pathogens cause disease, with the aim of applying this information to developing new antibiotics for treating these infectious agents and improving current methods of vaccine development. Dr. So recently expanded her research to the commensal species in the Neisseria genus. These bacteria are normal inhabitants of the body and are closely related to the two pathogenic species; but unlike their pathogenic cousins they do not cause disease. Dr. So’s new research effort seeks to determine the differences in behavior of commensal and pathogen Neisseria. Dr. So’s research approach is multidisciplinary, involving concepts and techniques in biophysics, bioinformatics, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. Collaborators from institutions around the world contribute to this effort. Dr. So has published over 100 peer-reviewed research papers in internationally renowned journals, and over 20 reviews and book chapters. She holds several patents as a result of her research. She is frequently invited to speak at universities and national and international meetings. She is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, an elected body, and serves on the scientific boards of several research centers. Over the course of her career, Dr. So has trained over 44 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. The majority of her trainees are internationally recognized researchers in their own right.