Faculty and Research

Raphael Valdivia, PhD
Associate Professor

Vice Dean for Basic Research
research • biography • publications  • lab memberslab website


Raphael Valdivia received his B.S. in Microbiology from Cornell University in 1991. After a year stint as a mountainguide and high school teacher, he moved to California to begin graduate studies with Stanley Falkow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. In Dr. Falkow's laboratory Dr. Valdivia devised a fluorescence-based screen to identify virulence factors that are induced when pathogens enter a host cell and which are involved in remodeling the host cell's endosomal compartments.

In 1998, Dr. Valdivia received a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship and moved to the University of California, Berkeley to study endosome dynamics and biogenesis in the laboratory of Randy Schekman. At Berkeley, Dr. Valdivia used the formidable tools of genetics and biochemistry of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to uncover novel transport pathways between endosomal compartments.

In his current work, Dr. Valdivia is taking advantage of the well-characterized cell biology, genetics and biochemistry of model eukaryotes, such as yeast, to understand the function of virulence factors from the intracellular pathogens Chlamydia and Salmonella.

In 2004, Dr. Valdivia earned recognition as a Pew Biomedical Scholar. He was also the recipient of the 2007 Merck Irving S. Sigal Award from the ASM, and he was selected as a 2007 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Valdivia also serves as an editor for the journals PLoS Pathogens and PLoS One, which are new open access journals from the Public Library of Science, and is a contributing member for "Faculty of 1000."