Olaf Mueller, Ph.D.
Bioinformatician, Bioinformatics Resource Center
Biotechnology Center, room 2130D
Olaf joined the UWBC Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2023. He received an M.S. in Biology at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Biology at University of Cologne, Germany. His early research focused on the genomic and molecular basis for cellular interactions in pathogenic, symbiotic and commensal microbes. He combined experimental and computational approaches to explore pathogen-host interactions of the fungal plant pathogen Ustilago maydis and related fungal species with their respective plant host organisms. His work identified new secreted effector proteins, which are essential for the early stages of pathogenic development. In subsequent research appointments, at University of Iowa and Duke University, he shifted exclusively to computational biology and bioinformatics. Utilizing comparative genomic methods, he characterized meiosis-related gene inventories in fungi, and expanded his studies to the field of lichen symbiosis, aimed to improve our understanding of the genomic foundation for symbiotic relationships between lichen phyto- and mycosymbionts. During his appointments as Bioinformatician II at Duke University Medical Center, and Bioinformatic Specialist at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he contributed a broad range of bioinformatic analyses in medical and basic research, with relevance to human health, crop safety and environmental contexts. He investigated diverse fungal and bacterial human pathogens, like Cryptococcus and Chlamydia, as well as commensal, environmental microbes, like Exiguobacterium. Further studies included the characterization of microbial communities (microbiomes), associated to human diseases, and environmental systems. His recent work contributed to the exploration of transcriptomic signatures in fish, insects and crustaceans, related to their sensitivity and common responses to nanomaterials.