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HomeFaculty › Susan Butler-Wu, PhD, D(ABMM)

Susan Butler-Wu, PhD, D(ABMM)

photo Dr. Susan Butler-Wu

Assistant Professor,
Department of Laboratory Medicine;
Associate Director,
Clinical Microbiology Laboratory

Contact Information

University of Washington
Department of Laboratory Medicine, NW120
Box 357110
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195-7110
Tel: 206.598.6131
Fax: 206.598.6189

Personal Biography

Dr. Butler-Wu is the Associate Director of Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at the University of Washington Medical Center and a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology. She obtained her Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Camilli at Tufts University studying the role of chemotaxis in the virulence of the diarrheal pathogen Vibrio cholerae. Following a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. K. Heran Darwin at NYU studying the Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteasome, she completed a clinical post-doctoral fellowship in Medical and Public Health Microbiology at the University of Washington. Her research interests include the development and application of molecular methods for the detection of infection and antimicrobial resistance, and improved diagnostic methods for the detection of prosthetic joint infections caused by Propionibacterium species. When not thinking about clinical microbiology, Susan is an avid rugby fan and a former player of the sport.

Education and Training

  • Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland: B.A. (Mod.) Microbiology, 1995-1999
  • Tufts University, Boston, MA: Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology, 1999-2005
  • New York University, New York, NY: Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2005-2007
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Medical Microbiology and Public Health, 2007-2009

Clinical Interests

  • Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Diagnostics

Research Interests

  • Arthroplasty infections due to Propionibacterium species
  • Molecular diagnosis of infection
  • Rapid diagnostic methods
  • Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance

Current Research

  • Rapid pathogen identification from positive blood cultures
  • Genotyping of Cryptococcus gattii by MALDI-TOF-MS
  • Detection of hetero-resistance in Gram-Negative Bacilli

Selected Publications

  1. Pottinger P, Butler-Wu SM, Neradilek MB, Merritt A, Bertelsen A, Jette JL, Warme WJ, Matsen FA. "Prognostic factors for bacterial cultures positive for Propionibacterium acnes and other organisms in a large series of revision shoulder arthroplasties performed for stiffness, pain, or loosening". J Bone Joint Surg Am 2012; 94(22):2075-83.
  2. Nishiyama S, Suzuki D, Itoh Y, Suzuki K, Tajima H, Hyakutake A, Homma M, Butler-Wu SM, Camilli A, Kawagishi I. "Mlp24 (McpX) of Vibrio cholerae implicated in pathogenicity functions as a chemoreceptor for multiple amino acids". Infect Immun 2012; 80(9):3170-8.
  3. Weissman SJ, Johnson JR, Tchesnokova V, Billig M, Dykhuizen D, Riddell K, Rogers P, Qin X, Butler-Wu SM, Cookson BT, Fang FC, Scholes D, Chattopadhyay S, Sokurenko E. "High-resolution two-locus clonal typing of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli". Appl Environ Microbiol 2012; 78(5): 1352-60.
  4. Butler-Wu SM, Sengupta DJ, Kittichotirat W, Matsen FA 3rd, Bumgarner RE. "Genome Sequence of a novel species, Propionbacterium humerusii". J Bacteriol 2011; 193(14):3678.
  5. Butler-Wu SM, Burns EM, Pottinger PS, Magaret AS, Rakeman JK, Matsen FA, and BT Cookson. 2011. "Optimization of periprosthetic culture for the diagnosis of Propionibacterium acnes prosthetic joint infection"

Honors and Awards

  • Entrance Exhibition Scholarship, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland, 1995-1997
  • Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Award, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, 2008
  • PASCV Travel Award, Pan American Society for Clinical Virology, 2009


Last updated: 1/2/2013

HomeFaculty › Susan Butler-Wu, PhD, D(ABMM)

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