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Suzanne Pfeffer

Academic Appointments

  • Emma Pfeiffer Merner Professor in the Medical Sciences

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Email Tel (650) 725-5130


Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Chairman, Stanford University School of Medicine - Biochemistry (2013 - 2015)
  • Emma Pfeiffer Merner Professor of Medical Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine (2012 - present)
  • Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine-Biochemistry (1998 - present)
  • Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine - Biochemistry (1998 - 2006)
  • Associate Chairman, Stanford University School of Medicine-Biochemistry (1997 - 1998)
  • Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine - Biochemistry (1992 - 1998)
View All 7administrative appointments of Suzanne Pfeffer

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013)
  • President, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2010-2012)
  • President, American Society for Cell Biology (2003)
  • Merit Award, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (1999-2009)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1992)
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation (1988-1993)

Professional Education

A.B.: U.C. Berkeley, Biochemistry (1978)
Ph.D.: U.C. San Francisco, Biochemistry (1983)
Postdoctoral: U.C. San Francisco, Biochemistry (1984)
Postdoctoral: Stanford University, Biochemistry (1985)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

During intracellular transport, proteins destined for the plasma membrane, secretory vesicles and lysosomes must be sorted from one another within the Golgi complex and sent to their appropriate addresses. The long term goal of our research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which proteins are targeted to specific and distinct compartments. We would like to understand how transport vesicles select their contents, bud off from an organelle, translocate through the cytoplasm to recognize their target, and then fuse with their target to deliver specific cargo molecules. Current efforts seek to understand how the Golgi complex is formed and how it functions. Although one third of the proteins encoded in the human genome pass through the Golgi, we still do not know how it functions.

A molecular understanding of membrane traffic has broad implications for our understanding of growth control in cancer, receptor trafficking errors in heart disease, regulation of insulin secretion in diabetes and synaptic vesicle biogenesis and transport in neurological disorders. We also study the NPC1 and NPC1L1 proteins which are essential for cholesterol transport in humans.




Prior Year Coursescourses of Suzanne Pfeffer

Postdoctoral Advisees

Peter LeeJian LiPiyali Saha

Graduate and Fellowship Program Affiliations



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Publication Topics

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