Faculty Directory

Contact Information

Office:
Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center, 4023
Phone: +1-508-831-5028
spolitz@wpi.edu

“It’s not so important to know what you are doing; it is much more important to know exactly where you stand.”

Samuel "Sam" M. Politz

I especially enjoy teaching when I get to know the students well and can see them learn. WPI gives me the opportunity to do this in the project system. I love teaching students in the research lab, seeing them learn that things in the real world are much more interesting than the textbook view. I get excited when I see something in the lab that doesn’t make sense. When I have made discoveries that turned out to be important, it was like walking through a room at night with the lights off. After bumping into a lot of furniture (ouch!), one eventually finds the light switch. When students “get” that, this is what making discoveries is about. It is a wonderful thing to witness.

Research Interests

  • Genetic and Immunological Study of Surface Antigen Switching in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Regulation of NADPH Oxidase in the C. elegans Host Immune Response

Education

  • BS, Lousiana State University, 1973
  • PhD, University of California-Los Angeles, 1978

Featured Publications

  • Jain, C., M. Yun, M., Politz, S.M., and Prusty Rao, R. (2009). "A pathogenesis assay using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel roles for yeast AP-1, Yap1, and host dual oxidase BLI-3 in fungal pathogenesis." Eukaryot Cell 8, 1218-27.
  • Darby, C., Chakraborti, A., Politz, S.M., Daniels, C.C., Tan, L., and Drace, K.  (2007) Caenorhabditis elegans mutants resistant to attachment of Yersinia biofilms.  Genetics 176,  221-230.
  • Olsen, Douglas P., Phu, David, Libby, Laura J.M., Cormier, Jennifer A., Montez, Katina M., Ryder, Elizabeth F., and Politz, Samuel M. (2007) Chemosensory control of surface antigen switching in the nematode Caenorhabitis elegans. Genes, Brain and Behavior 6, 240-252.
  • Höflich, Jorg., Berninsone, Patricia., Göbel, Christine, Gravato-Nobre, Maria J., Libby, Brian J., Darby, Creg, Politz, Samuel M., Hodgkin, Jonathan, Hirschberg, Carlos B., and Baumeister, Ralf. (2004) "Loss of srf-3-encoded nucleotide sugar transporter activity in Caenorhabditis elegans alters surface antigenicity and prevents bacterial adherence" (2004) J. Biol. Chem., 279: 30440 - 30448.
  • Grenache, David G., Caldicott, Ian, Albert, Patrice S., Riddle, Donald L., and Politz, Samuel M. "Environmental Induction and Genetic Control of Surface Antigen Switching in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans" (1996) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 12388-12393.

Spotlight On: Current Research

Our laboratory studies the genetic control of surface composition in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We are interested in this feature of postembryonic development because of its adaptive significance in nematode parasitism.

Professional Highlights

  • 1979-1981. NIH Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (NRSA), UC Santa Cruz.
  • 1979-1981. Postdoctoral Fellow,  UC Santa Cruz:  E. coli ribosome structure. Advisor: Professor H.F. Noller.
  • 1982-1984. Assistant Research Biologist, UC Santa Cruz: Cuticle and surface structure of the nematode C. elegans. Advisor:  Professor R.S. Edgar.
  • 1984-1988. Assistant Professor, School of Applied Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology
 
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