Esther S. Bullitt, PhD

Associate Professor, Physiology & Biophysics

Esther Bullitt
700 Albany St Ctr for Adv Biomed Res


Structural studies of biological macromolecular assemblies are providing an understanding of cellular function. In our laboratory, we utilize electron microscopy and image reconstruction to investigate questions about microbial virulence.

Work in the lab currently focuses on bacterial adhesion pili (fimbriae), type III secretion system needles, and virus replication. These projects address basic medical research questions directed at understanding bacterial adhesion to human host tissue and viral replication. Our data support development of novel therapeutics targeting these important health issues including, for example, development of a vaccine against traveler’s diarrhea.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Brandeis University, PhD
  • Grinnell College, AB


  • Published on 4/11/2018

    Brown JW, Badahdah A, Iticovici M, Vickers TJ, Alvarado DM, Helmerhorst EJ, Oppenheim FG, Mills JC, Ciorba MA, Fleckenstein JM, Bullitt E. A Role for Salivary Peptides in the Innate Defense Against Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. J Infect Dis. 2018 Apr 11; 217(9):1435-1441. PMID: 29528423.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/6/2018

    Wiklund K, Zhang H, Stangner T, Singh B, Bullitt E, Andersson M. A drag force interpolation model for capsule-shaped cells in fluid flows near a surface. Microbiology. 2018 04; 164(4):483-494. PMID: 29509130.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2018

    Epler Barbercheck CR, Bullitt E, Andersson M. Bacterial Adhesion Pili. Subcell Biochem. 2018; 87:1-18. PMID: 29464555.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/18/2017

    Rossignol ED, Peters KN, Connor JH, Bullitt E. Zika virus induced cellular remodelling. Cell Microbiol. 2017 Aug; 19(8). PMID: 28318141.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/13/2016

    Singh B, Mortezaei N, Savarino SJ, Uhlin BE, Bullitt E, Andersson M. Antibodies Damage the Resilience of Fimbriae, Causing Them To Be Stiff and Tangled. J Bacteriol. 2017 Jan 01; 199(1). PMID: 27795330.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/12/2015

    Rossignol ED, Yang JE, Bullitt E. The Role of Electron Microscopy in Studying the Continuum of Changes in Membranous Structures during Poliovirus Infection. Viruses. 2015 Oct; 7(10):5305-18. PMID: 26473912.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/28/2015

    Singh B, Mortezaei N, Uhlin BE, Savarino SJ, Bullitt E, Andersson M. Antibody-mediated disruption of the mechanics of CS20 fimbriae of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:13678. PMID: 26411657.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/7/2015

    Mortezaei N, Singh B, Zakrisson J, Bullitt E, Andersson M. Biomechanical and structural features of CS2 fimbriae of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. Biophys J. 2015 Jul 7; 109(1):49-56. PMID: 26153701.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/11/2015

    Brown JW, Bullitt E, Sriswasdi S, Harper S, Speicher DW, McKnight CJ. The Physiological Molecular Shape of Spectrin: A Compact Supercoil Resembling a Chinese Finger Trap. PLoS Comput Biol. 2015 Jun; 11(6):e1004302. PMID: 26067675.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/27/2014

    Mortezaei N, Epler CR, Shao PP, Shirdel M, Singh B, McVeigh A, Uhlin BE, Savarino SJ, Andersson M, Bullitt E. Structure and function of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli fimbriae from differing assembly pathways. Mol Microbiol. 2015 Jan; 95(1):116-26. PMID: 25355550.

    Read at: PubMed

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