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Susan Gottesman

Susan Gottesman

American microbiologist
Susan Gottesman
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American microbiologist
Is Biologist Scientist Microbiologist
From United States of America
Type Biology Science
Gender female
Birth 30 January 1950, New York
Age 70 years
Star sign AquariusAquarius
The details


Susan Gottesman is microbiologist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is a pioneer in the area of biological regulation in which enzymes that destroy specific other proteins, called proteases, play a central role inside the cell. In groundbreaking work, she discovered and elucidated the central features of a whole new family of proteases that require energy for their function in the form of ATP-hydrolysis. She has also played a major role in the discovery and characterization of bacterial small RNAs.


She was born on May 19, 1945, in New York. Her father was trained as an accountant and ran a company that made rotisseries and other small appliances. Her mother was a high school teacher and later became a guidance counselor.

Dr. Gottesman received a B.A. in biochemical sciences, in 1967, from Radcliffe College, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from Harvard University, in 1972. She did her postdoctoral training from 1971 to 1974 in NCI's Laboratory of Molecular Biology. From 1974 to 1976, she was a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before returning as a senior investigator to NCI’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Today she is co-chief of that Laboratory and head of its Biochemical Genetics Section.

Awards and honors

  • Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.
  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999.
  • Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) in 2009.
  • American Society of Microbiology's (ASM) Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
  • Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology in 2015 for a major advance in the field of microbiology.

Selected publications

  • Battesti, A; Hoskins, JR; Tong, S; Milanesio, P; Mann, JM; Kravats, A; Tsegaye, YM; Bougdour, A; Wickner, S; Gottesman, S (15 December 2013). "Anti-adaptors provide multiple modes for regulation of the RssB adaptor protein.". Genes & Development. 27 (24): 2722–35. doi:10.1101/gad.229617.113. PMID 24352426. 
  • Zhang, A; Schu, DJ; Tjaden, BC; Storz, G; Gottesman, S (9 October 2013). "Mutations in interaction surfaces differentially impact E. coli Hfq association with small RNAs and their mRNA targets.". Journal of Molecular Biology. 425 (19): 3678–97. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2013.01.006. PMID 23318956. 
  • Soper, T; Mandin, P; Majdalani, N; Gottesman, S; Woodson, SA (25 May 2010). "Positive regulation by small RNAs and the role of Hfq.". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107 (21): 9602–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.1004435107. PMID 20457943. 
  • Battesti, A; Majdalani, N; Gottesman, S (2011). "The RpoS-mediated general stress response in Escherichia coli.". Annual Review of Microbiology. 65: 189–213. doi:10.1146/annurev-micro-090110-102946. PMID 21639793. 
  • De Lay, N; Gottesman, S (November 2012). "A complex network of small non-coding RNAs regulate motility in Escherichia coli.". Molecular Microbiology. 86 (3): 524–38. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08209.x. PMID 22925049. 

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