Esther Bullitt, PhD Hear my name
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

PhD, Brandeis University
AB, Grinnell College

Pronouns: she/her/hers

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.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

The privilege afforded me to be able to work as I decide factors into decisions I have made throughout my career. I choose fostering the careers of others as a critical goal, working to create an inclusive scientific environment. As president of the Microscopy Society of America in 2020, I created a policy and a task force for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The need for this initiative was built on my experience over the past 20 years of advocating for and training scientists from under-represented groups. My current work represents another aspect of my deepened commitment to the 'democratization' of scientific research. To support and advance the design of novel strategies to confront health care challenges posed by emerging pathogens, I am working with the Graduate Medical Sciences DEI Steering Committee to diversify our workforce and make all scientists feel that their contributions are recognized and appreciated.

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

Tundra Cryo-EM for Boston University
03/15/2023 - 03/14/2025 (PI)
NIH/Office of the Director

Exploiting the Salivary Arsenal to Inhibit Diarrheal Disease
02/22/2021 - 01/31/2025 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases

The multiple states of IpaB Shigella type lll secretion
06/02/2014 - 11/30/2018 (Subcontract PI)
University of Kansas NIH NIAID

Towards the Disruption of Viral RNA Replication
07/01/2012 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Measurement of Bacteriophage Lengths using Transmission electron microscopy and image analysis
01/01/2012 - 12/31/2016 (PI)
Neurophage pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Towards the Disruption of Viral RNA Replication
07/01/2012 - 06/30/2016 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

The multiple states of IpaB Shigella type III secretion
12/04/2012 - 06/01/2014 (Subcontract PI)
University of Oklahoma NIH NIAID


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2023 Tundra Cryo-EM for Boston University 1S10OD032253-01A1
2022 Exploiting the Salivary Arsenal to Inhibit Diarrheal Disease 5R21AI156236-02
2021 Exploiting the Salivary Arsenal to Inhibit Diarrheal Disease 1R21AI156236-01
2021 Midwest Consortium for High Resolution Cryoelectron Microscopy 5U24GM116789-05 3
2020 CryoEM Data Collection Facility Consortium at NCM 5U24GM116787-05 6
2020 Midwest Consortium for High Resolution Cryoelectron Microscopy 5U24GM116789-04 3
2020 The Southeastern Consortium for Microscopy of MacroMolecular Machines 5U24GM116788-05 7
2019 CryoEM Data Collection Facility Consortium at NCM 5U24GM116787-04 6
2019 Midwest Consortium for High Resolution Cryoelectron Microscopy 5U24GM116789-03 3
2019 Administrative Supplement: The Southeastern Consortium for Microscopy of MacroMolecular Machines 3U24GM116788-04S1 7
Showing 10 of 40 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Gagnon KA, Huang J, Hix OT, Hui VW, Hinds A, Bullitt E, Eyckmans J, Kotton DN, Chen CS. Multicompartment duct platform to study epithelial-endothelial crosstalk associated with lung adenocarcinoma. APL Bioeng. 2024 Jun; 8(2):026126.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38911024; PMCID: PMC11191334; DOI: 10.1063/5.0207228;
  2. Jayaraman S, Urdaneta A, Bullitt E, Fändrich M, Gursky O. Lipid clearance and amyloid formation by serum amyloid A: exploring the links between beneficial and pathologic actions of an enigmatic protein. J Lipid Res. 2023 Sep; 64(9):100429.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37604227; PMCID: PMC10509712; DOI: 10.1016/j.jlr.2023.100429;
  3. Thairatana S, Doran M, Sonani RR, Egelman EH, Bullitt E. New Morphologies of Hib Adhesion Pili. Microsc Microanal. 2023 Jul 22; 29(29 Suppl 1):937. PMID: 37613394
  4. Klimtchuk ES, Peterle D, Bullitt E, Connors LH, Engen JR, Gursky O. Role of complementarity-determining regions 1 and 3 in pathologic amyloid formation by human immunoglobulin ?1 light chains. Amyloid. 2023 Dec; 30(4):364-378.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37216473; PMCID: PMC10663386; DOI: 10.1080/13506129.2023.2212397;
  5. Doran MH, Baker JL, Dahlberg T, Andersson M, Bullitt E. Three structural solutions for bacterial adhesion pilus stability and superelasticity. Structure. 2023 May 04; 31(5):529-540.e7. PMID: 37001523; PMCID: PMC10164138; DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2023.03.005;
  6. Doran MH, Rynkiewicz MJ, Rassici D, Bodt SML, Barry ME, Bullitt E, Yengo CM, Moore JR, Lehman W. Conformational changes linked to ADP release from human cardiac myosin bound to actin-tropomyosin. J Gen Physiol. 2023 Mar 06; 155(3).View Related Profiles. PMID: 36633586; PMCID: PMC9859928; DOI: 10.1085/jgp.202213267;
  7. Kaserman JE, Werder RB, Wang F, Matte T, Higgins MI, Dodge M, Lindstrom-Vautrin J, Bawa P, Hinds A, Bullitt E, Caballero IS, Shi X, Gerszten RE, Brunetti-Pierri N, Liesa M, Villacorta-Martin C, Hollenberg AN, Kotton DN, Wilson AA. Human iPSC-hepatocyte modeling of alpha-1 antitrypsin heterozygosity reveals metabolic dysregulation and cellular heterogeneity. Cell Rep. 2022 Dec 06; 41(10):111775.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36476855; PMCID: PMC9780780; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111775;
  8. Doran MH, Rynkiewicz MJ, Pavadai E, Bodt SML, Rasicci D, Moore JR, Yengo CM, Bullitt E, Lehman W. Myosin loop-4 is critical for optimal tropomyosin repositioning on actin during muscle activation and relaxation. J Gen Physiol. 2023 Feb 06; 155(2).View Related Profiles. PMID: 36459134; PMCID: PMC9723511; DOI: 10.1085/jgp.202213274;
  9. Werder RB, Liu T, Abo KM, Lindstrom-Vautrin J, Villacorta-Martin C, Huang J, Hinds A, Boyer N, Bullitt E, Liesa M, Silverman EK, Kotton DN, Cho MH, Zhou X, Wilson AA. CRISPR interference interrogation of COPD GWAS genes reveals the functional significance of desmoplakin in iPSC-derived alveolar epithelial cells. Sci Adv. 2022 Jul 15; 8(28):eabo6566.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35857525; PMCID: PMC9278866; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abo6566;
  10. Hume AJ, Heiden B, Olejnik J, Suder EL, Ross S, Scoon WA, Bullitt E, Ericsson M, White MR, Turcinovic J, Thao TTN, Hekman RM, Kaserman JE, Huang J, Alysandratos KD, Toth GE, Jakab F, Kotton DN, Wilson AA, Emili A, Thiel V, Connor JH, Kemenesi G, Cifuentes D, Mühlberger E. Correction: Recombinant Lloviu virus as a tool to study viral replication and host responses. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Jun; 18(6):e1010659.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35749346; PMCID: PMC9231773; DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010659;
Showing 10 of 74 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 74 publications over 30 distinct years, with a maximum of 10 publications in 2022


2021 Microscopy Society of America: Past-President
2020 Microscopy Society of America: President
2019 Microscopy Society of America: President-elect
2018-pres International Union of Crystallography Journal: Associate Editor
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700 Albany St
Boston MA 02118
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