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Joseph W. St. Geme III, MD

Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics

Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Professor of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Joseph W. St. Geme III, MD, received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. He completed a pediatric residency and chief residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and pursued postdoctoral training in microbiology and infectious diseases at Stanford University.

From 1992 to 2005, Dr. St. Geme was a member of the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. There he served as director of pediatric infectious diseases and co-leader of the Pediatric Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Research Unit. In 2005, Dr. St. Geme was recruited to Duke University, Durham, NC, where he was the James B. Duke professor and chairman of pediatrics, the chief medical officer of Duke Children’s Hospital, and a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology.

In 2013, Dr. St. Geme relocated to Philadelphia to assume new responsibilities as the chairman of the Division of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, he is also chairman of Pediatrics and professor of pediatrics and microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. St. Geme has an active laboratory research program that focuses on the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions involving pathogenic bacteria, with particular emphasis on Haemophilus influenzae and Kingella kingaeHaemophilus influenzae is common in the nasopharynx and is the leading cause of otitis media and sinusitis in children, and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults.Kingella kingae is common in the posterior pharynx and has emerged as a major cause of bone and joint infections in young children.

Dr. St. Geme and his research team are using genetic methods, protein chemistry, X-ray crystallography, high-resolution microscopy, microarray analysis, and cell biology approaches to study the molecular and cellular determinants of Haemophilus influenzae and Kingella kingae disease, aiming to understand how these organisms:

  1. Initiate infection
  2. Establish a state of commensalism
  3. Transition from a state of commensalism to produce disease

The team's long-term goals are to identify common mechanisms in bacterial pathogenesis and to develop new antimicrobials with activity against a wide range of pathogenic gram-negative bacteria.

Dr. St. Geme has been elected to the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Pediatric Society, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Medicine.

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