Karsten Hueffer

Assistant Professor

University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 757000
266 Arctic Health Building 
Fairbanks, Alaska 99508
● Microbiology
● infectious diseases
   (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence)
●  University of Alaska Fairbanks
   Institute of Arctic Biology
   Biology & Wildlife
   Chemistry & Biochemistry
   College Natural Science & Mathematics


● Zoonotic pathogens & distribution in ecosystem
● Host pathogen interactions
● School of Veterinary Medicine (DVM Equivalent)
   Hannover, Germany
Ph.D. Comparative Biomedical Science
   Cornell University, Ithica, NY
Post Doctoral Microbial Pathogenesis
   Yale University, New Haven, CT
Research Overview
Host pathogen interaction in infectious disease.  I am interested in how pathogens exploit cellular function in their life cycles. These studies are important not only for the better understanding of the biology of infectious disease and for developing new therapeutic strategies against them, but also for the better understanding of host cell biology, using infectious agents as an evolutionarily well-adapted tool in cell biology. We investigate the interactions between Francisella tularensis subspecies novicida with host cells. More specifically we investigate the role of a genetic element in Francisella (the Francisella pathogenicity island) in pathogenesis. In addition we are interested in other zoonotic pathogens and their distribution in the Alaska Ecosystem. This work is done in close collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Todd M. O'Hara here at UAF.  
Current Research Projects
Francisella Pathogenicity Island encodes for proteins that are secreted during infection and influence the infection process as secreted effector proteins.
Arctic Fox surveillance
Current Students
Graduate Students
2007-present            Rebekah Hare
                                    Ph.D. Student
                                    Biology & Wildlife
                                    University of Alaska Fairbanks
2010-present            Cristina Hansen, DVM
                                     Ph.D. Student
                                     Biology & Wildlife
                                     University of Alaska Fairbanks
2010-present            Renee Rember, MS, DMV
                                     Ph.D. Student
                                     Biology & Wildlife
                                     University of Alaska Fairbanks
2009-present            Lisa K. Smith
                                     MS Student
                                     University of Alaska Fairbanks
2009-present            Katie Kox
                                     MS Student
                                     University of Alaska Fairbanks
Publications (in chronological order)
Peer Reviewed Publications

1.     Chen, C., Burton-Wurster, N., Bordon, C., Hueffer, K., Bloom, S., Lust, G.: Chondrocyte necrosis and apoptosis in impact damaged articular cartilage; Journal of Orthopaedical Research 19 (2001) 703-711 [PMID:11518282]

2.     Hueffer, K., Parker, J., Weichert, W., Geisel, R., Sgro, J., Parrish, C. R.: The natural host range shift and subsequent evolution of canine parvovirus resulted from virus-specific binding to the canine transferring receptor. Journal of Virology 77 (2003) 1718-1726 [PMID: 12525605]
3.     Palermo, L., Hueffer, K., Parrish, C. R.: Residues in the apical domain of the feline and canine transferrin receptors control host-specific binding and cell infection of canine and feline parvoviruses. Journal of Virology 77 (2003) 8915-8923. [PMID: 12885908]
4.     Hueffer, K., Parrish C. R. (review): Parvovirus host range, cell tropism and evolution. Current Opinion in Microbiology 6 (2003) 392-398. [PMID: 12941411]
5.     Hueffer, K, Govindasamy, L., Agbandje-McKenna, M., Parrish, C. R.: Combinations of two capsid regions controlling canine host range determine canine transferrin receptor binding by canine and feline parvoviruses. Journal of Virology 77 (2003) 10099-10105.    [PMID: 12941920]
6.     Govindasamy, L., Hueffer, K., Parrish, C. R., Agbandje-McKenna, M.: Structures of host range-controlling regions of the capsids of canine and feline parvoviruses and mutants. Journal of Virology 77 (2003) 12211-12221. [PMID: 14581558]
7.     Hueffer, K., Truyen, U., Parrish, C. R. (review): Evolution und Wirtswechsel des Caninen Parvovirus: Molekulare Grundlagen der Entstehung eines neuen Virus Berliner Muenchner Tieraerztliche Wochenschrift 117 (2004):130 – 135
8.     Hueffer, K., Palermo, L., Parrish, C.: Parvovirus infection of cells using variants of the feline transferrin receptor altering - clathrin-mediated endocytosis, membrane domain localization and capsid binding domains. Journal of Virology 78 (2004): 5601–5611. [PMID: 15140957]
9.     Hernandez, L., Hueffer, K., Wenk, M., Galán, J. E.: Salmonella modulates vesicular trafficking by altering phosphoinositide metabolism.Science 304 (2004): 1805-1807. [PMID: 15205533]
10.  Hueffer, K., and J. E. Galán. (review): Salmonella-induced macrophage death: multiple mechanisms, different outcomes. Cell Microbiol 6 (2004):1019-1025.  [PMID: 15469431]
11.  Read, A, Vogl, S. J., Hueffer, K., Gallagher, L. A., and Happ, G. M.: Francisella genes required for replication in mosquito cells. Journal of Medical Entomology. 45 (2008):1108-1116. [PMID: 19058636]
12.  Patel, J. C., Hueffer, K., Lam, T. T., and Galán, J. E.: Diversification of a Salmonella effector protein function by ubiquitin-dependent differential localization. Cell (137) (2009): 283-294. [PMID: 19379694]
13.  Triebenbach, A. N, Vogl, S. J.,Lotspeich-Cole, L., Sikes, D. S., Happ, G. M., Hueffer, K.: Detection of Francisella tularensis in Alaskan Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and Assessment of a Laboratory Model for Transmission. Journal of Medical Entomology. 47 (2010): 639-648 [PMID: 20695280]
14.  Hueffer, K., Armbruster, P., Daehler, C., Ferzli, M., Godwin, J., Mulder, C.P.H., Sherwood,A.: Species Interaction, Advantageous or Not: the Fig-Wasp relationship. EcoEdNet (2010)
15.  Hueffer, K., Lieske, C. L., McGilvary, L. M., Hare, R. F., Miller, D. L., O’Hara, T. M.: Strectocccus phocae Isolated form a Spotted Seal (Phoca largha) with Pyometra in Alaska. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 42, (2011): 108-112
16.  Hueffer, K., O’Hara T. M., Follmann E. F. (review): Adaptation of Mammalian Host-Pathogen Interactions in a Changing Arctic Environment. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. 53 (2011): (1):17 [PMID: 21392401]
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