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Rebecca Rashid Achterman, PhD
Dr. Achterman is a core faculty member in the Department of Basic Sciences.
- BS in Microbiology from Indiana University
- PhD in Microbiology from the University of Washington
Dr. Achterman conducted post-doctoral research in prokaryotic development at the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) and then returned to Seattle to work on fungal pathogenesis with Ted White, PhD, at Seattle BioMed. She spent three years teaching at Western Washington University before joining the faculty at Bastyr University in 2013.
Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, Integrated Biochemistry and Cell/Molecular Biology
Dr. Achterman’s overarching research interest is to develop a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying dermatophyte pathogenesis. Dermatophytes are the causative agent of cutaneous mycoses such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and scalp infections (tinea capitis). Although they infect nearly 1 in 5 individuals, little is known about how dermatophytes cause disease. A deeper understanding of this process will allow for better prevention and therapeutics. Current projects include developing a non-mammalian model system to mimic host-pathogen interactions during dermatophyte disease, and identifying antimicrobial compounds from natural sources, including those active against dermatophytes or bacterial pathogens.
Dr. Achterman’s teaching interests include identifying and addressing common misconceptions about microbiology and developing genuine research experiences for undergraduate students.
Dr. Achterman’s goal is to provide students with rigorous scientific training that develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills useful beyond the classroom.
Dermatophytes are the causative agent of cutaneous mycoses such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and scalp infections (tinea capitis). Although they infect nearly 1 in 5 individuals, little is known about how dermatophytes cause disease. A deeper understanding of this process will allow for better prevention and therapeutics. The Achterman lab seeks to use a non-mammalian model to investigate dermatophyte pathogenesis and therapeutic options. Current projects involve identifying and characterizing antimicrobial compounds from natural sources that are active against dermatophytes. Mentorship for other microbiology projects is also available.