Derek Platt

Derek Platt

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis
Inducted in 2019

Derek J. Platt is a candidate for the Ph.D. in molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis with a concentration in autoimmunity and the host immune response to commensal and pathogenic viruses and bacteria at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on defining the contributions of commensal microorganisms in STING-associated vasculopathy. Derek has been recognized as an Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Fellow, Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship Program (CGFP) Scholar, and an Infectious Disease (ID) Gateway Scholar. As well, he received a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from Tennessee State University, where he was a recipient of a full athletic scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship. Derek is incredibly passionate about community outreach and is highly motivated to spread his interest in science and offer academic opportunities that were unavailable to him during his adolescence. As a result, he has been heavily involved in volunteer work in the St. Louis metropolitan area as a part of the Young Scientist Program. He facilitates learning opportunities by leading a forensic science teaching team and serves as a mentor to high school students. Ultimately, Derek aspires to run an institutional biomedical research laboratory that conducts research at the intersection of microbial pathogenesis and host immune responses to infections.