Remembering Karin


Earlier this week our dear former Domie and PhD student Karin Aistleitner died - entirely unexpectedly - after a brief but serious illness. She will be missed.

Karin joined DoME as Master’s student and then took on a PhD project in the lab of Matthias Horn. She investigated the cell envelope of amoeba-associated chlamydiae, and together with Martin Pilhofer (then at CalTech, now at the ETH Zürich) discovered for the first time the cell wall component peptidoglycan in these bacteria, which were considered to be peptidoglycan-less for many decades. After her PhD at DoME, Karin spent some time at the Institute for Microbiology of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich, Germany, and then moved on as a postdoc to Ted Hackstadt's lab at the NIH/NIAID at Hamilton, Montana, where she worked successfully on the biology of Rickettsia and enjoyed Montana’s natural beauty.

Karin was special; a bright, enthusiastic and gifted young scientist, and a vibrant, humorous, and engaging colleague and friend, who contributed to shaping a generation of Domies.

We are shocked and endlessly sad. Our thoughts are with her partner and her family.


Karin's award winning Pecha Kucha presentation from 2012
​(with drawings by Alex, Allen, and Gitta):