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Birgit Scharf

Professor of Biological Sciences
113 Life Sciences I Building (MC 0910)
970 Washington Street NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Major Field of Interest

Bacterial motility and chemotaxis

Current Research

  1. Sensing of environmental signals
  2. Two-component signal transduction
  3. The speed-variable flagellar motor
  4. Flagellotropic phage infection
  5. Function of type IV pili in symbiosis
  6. Tumor-targeting Salmonella
  • 2015-2018 Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2008-2015 Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • 2007-2008 Visiting Scientist, MCB, Harvard University
  • 2000-2007 Group Leader, Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany
  • 1998-2003 Habilitation (Higher Degree post-doctoral lecturing qualification) in Genetics, University Regensburg, Germany. Habilitation Dissertation: Elements of sensory signaling chains from archaea and bacteria.
  • 1998-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany, Dr. Rüdiger Schmitt
  • 1994-1998 Postdoctoral Fellow, MCB, Harvard University, Dr. Howard C. Berg
  • 1992-1993 Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck-Institute Dortmund, Germany, Advisor: Dr. Martin Engelhard
  • 1989-1992 Ph.D. in Biology, Ruhr-University Bochum and Max-Planck-Institute Dortmund, Germany; Advisors: Dr. Benno Hess/Dr. Martin Engelhard, Ph.D. Dissertation: Comparable analysis of sensory rhodopsin II from Halobacterium halobium and Natronobacterium pharaonis, and characterization of halocyanin, the first blue copper protein from archaea.
  • 1983-1989 Diploma (Masters) in Biology, Ruhr-University, Bochum and Max-Planck-Institute, Dortmund, Germany; Advisors: Dr. Benno Hess/Dr. Martin Engelhard, Master’s Thesis: Experiments towards the isolation and characterization of the photoreceptor sR-II from the Halobacterium halobium - mutant D1
  • 2013 Outreach Excellence Award, College of Science, VT, as member of the Microbiology Outreach Team with Drs. A. Stevens, R. Seyler, and F. Schubot
  • 2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor, Dept. of Biol. Sciences, VT
  • 2012 Outstanding Service Award, Department of Biological Sciences, VT
  • 2007-2008 Visiting Scientist, German Research Association
  • 1993 Otto-Hahn Prize of the Max-Planck-Society