William DePas Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. DePas received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2014 in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Chapman. While performing NIH pre-doctoral training in genetics, he investigated how environmental signals, particularly iron and oxidative stress, trigger uropathogenic Escherichia coli biofilm formation. After graduation, Dr. DePas began his postdoctoral research with Dr. Dianne Newman at Caltech. In collaboration with Dr. Viviana Gradinaru's bioengineering laboratory, he helped develop a tissue clearing and bacterial visualization protocol, MiPACT-HCR, that can be used to characterize the 3D biogeography of bacteria in situ. Using MiPACT-HCR, he quantified the aggregation state and growth rate of various bacterial pathogens in sputum from cystic fibrosis patients (DePas et al., 2016, mBio). In July of 2019, Dr. DePas joined the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School as an assistant professor. He is currently working to understand biofilm formation of nontuberculous mycobacteria in situ in sputum samples from CF patients and to identify and characterize their survival mechanisms using laboratory models.