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Contact Information
Biology Department

Tara Cominski, Ph.D.
Program Director

Henderson Hall 112B

Phone: (973) 290-4161
tcominski@steu.edu

Samantha Schlachter, Ph.D.

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Background

Dr. Samantha Schlachter embodies the quote, "play is the highest form of research." She shares her passion for microbiology in the classroom by encouraging students to "play" with their newly acquired expertise on microbes as they solve the mystery of the composition of a mixed culture of bacteria. Similarly, by undertaking independent research projects within the biology department, Dr. Schlachter strives to provide ample opportunity for students to experiment, learn, repeat, and ultimately discover, in a supportive and collaborative environment! Prior to earning her Ph.D. from Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, she earned a B.S. in Biology from Saint Elizabeth University.

Research Focus

Dr. Schlachter's research career and explorations have centered on the bacterium which causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi. For her doctoral research, she characterized the role of the spirochete protein, Borrelia glycosaminoglycan binding protein (Bgp), in Lyme disease pathogenesis through both in vitro molecular approaches and in vivo murine infection studies.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Lyme disease and tick-borne Diseases
  • General Microbiology
  • Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • General Molecular biology
  • Genetics (Microbial genetics/Cancer genetics)
  • Translational research (laboratory, clinical, and public health connections)

Examples of Student Independent Research Projects

  • An Assessment of the Efficacy of C. officinalis as a Possible Antimicrobial Medication (ICFNJ funded)

Publications

  • Djokic V, Akoolo L, Primus S, Schlachter S, Kelly K, Bhanot P, Parveen N.; Protozoan Parasite Babesia microti Subverts Adaptive Immunity and Enhances Lyme Disease Severity; Frontiers in Microbiology, 10(1596), 2019. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01596.
  • Primus, S., Akoolo, L., Schlachter, S., & Parveen N.; Efficient detection of symptomatic and asymptomatic patient samples for Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi infection by multiplex qPCR; PLOS ONE, 2018.
  • Schlachter S., Seshu J., Lin T, Norris S., & Parveen N.; The Borrelia burgdorferi Glycosaminoglycan Binding Protein Bgp in the B31 Strain is not essential for infectivity despite facilitating adherence and tissue colonization; Infection and Immunity, 86(2):e00667-17, 2018.
  • Primus S., Akoolo L., Schlachter S., & Parveen N.; Screening of patient blood samples for babesiosis using enzymatic assays; Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 9(2):302-306, 2017.
  • Schlachter, S., Chan, K., & Parveen N.; Detection and differentiation of Lyme spirochetes and other tick-borne pathogens from blood using PCR with molecular beacons; Invited chapter in the book Diagnostic Bacteriology under the series Methods in Molecular Biology, published by Springer Nature, 616:ISBN: 978-1-4939-7035-3:155-170, 2017.
  • Akoolo L.#, Schlachter S.#, Khan R., Alter L., Rojtman A.D., Gedroic K., Bhanot P., & Parveen N.; A novel quantitative PCR detects Babesia infection in patients not identified by currently available non-nucleic acid amplification tests; BMC Microbiology,17(1):16, 2017.