Suzanne M. Peyer, PhD

Research Associate

Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology
picture of Suzanne M. Peyer, PhD



BS, Civil & Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison

MS,Civil & Environmental Engineering, UW-Madison

MS, Zoology, UW-Madison

PhD, Zoology, UW-Madison


Dr. Peyer studies how the environment shapes organisms, for better or for worse. She currently examines the effect of microbes on host genes, especially during development when programmed cell death and tissue remodeling are common. Her research in host-microbe interactions intersects with the field of vision science through the use of an unusual model system – the bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) and its luminous microbial symbiont (Vibrio fischeri). The symbiont resides in an organ composed of tissues that perceive light and in other ways function like an eye. Thus, studies of the system offer insights into the functioning of the eye in response to both infection and light, the former of which is not as easily obtained from other systems. Her work also extends into the applied sphere, where she educates and advises on the role of the environment in human health, with a focus on chronic infections, food quality, and chemical toxicities. A rewarding aspect of her work is helping individuals pursue better health through such channels, which in the process tends to benefit the environment.


PubMed Listing of Publications