Deanna M. Schmitt, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate/Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Deanna Schmitt



PhD in Immunology, University of Pittsburgh, 2012

BS in Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University, 2005


Gerard J. Nau, MD, PhD


Areas of Interest

Generation of attenuated Francisella tularensis vaccines, Role of NK Cells in pulmonary Francisella tularensis infection

Why I Chose Pitt

I choose the University of Pittsburgh because of the collaborative environment and the flexibility of the interdisciplinary program.  As an incoming graduate student, I was interested in conducting my thesis research in a laboratory that focused on host-pathogen interactions and had projects involving both microbiology and immunology.  I found that a number of laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh offered this opportunity and have really enjoyed my time here both professionally and socially.

Following her graduation from the University of Pittsburgh, Deanna went to West Liberty University to take a position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate as well as an Assistant Professor of Biology.


Schmitt, D.M., D.M. O’Dee, M.J. Brown, J. Horzempa, B.C. Russo, and G.J. Nau.  2011.  IL-15/IL-15Rα improves cell survival but does not reduce disease severity following pulmonary infection with the intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis.  Immunology 2011.  San Francisco, CA.  May 2011.

Schmitt, D.M., D.M. O’Dee, J. Horzempa, P.E. Carlson Jr, and G.J. Nau.  2009.  Enhancing Francisella tularensis vaccine efficacy through stimulation of innate immunity.  6th International Conference on Tularemia, Berlin, Germany.  September 2009.

Tarwacki, D.M., J. Horzempa, P.E. Carlson, Jr. , C.M. Robinson, and G.J. Nau. 2008. Characterization and application of a glucose-repressible promoter in Francisella tularensis.  2008 Tuleremia Workshop, Bolton Landing, NY.  April 2008.


Schmitt, D. M; O'Dee, D. M; Horzempa, J; Carlson, P. E., Jr; Russo, B. C; Bales, J. M; Brown, M. J; and Nau, G. J. (2012) A Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain That Improves Stimulation of Antigen-Presenting Cells Does Not Enhance Vaccine Efficacy. PLoS One. 7: e31172 |  View Abstract

Russo, B. C; Horzempa, J; O'Dee, D. M; Schmitt, D. M; Brown, M. J; Carlson, P. E., Jr; Xavier, R. J; and Nau, G. J. (2011) A Francisella tularensis locus required for spermine responsiveness is necessary for virulence. Infect Immun. 79: 3665-3676. |  View Abstract

Characterization and application of a glucose-repressible promoter in Francisella tularensis. Appl Environ Microbiol. 74: 2161-2170. |  View Abstract