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Jonathan Steckbeck, MBA, PhD Postdoctoral Associate

Dr. Jonathan Steckbeck


9026 Biomedical Science Tower 3


Dr. Ronald Montelaro


PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, 2012

MBA in Business Strategy, University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, 2003

BS in Microbiology, Penn State University, 1999


My interests are in the design and testing of synthetic engineered antimicrobial peptides for use as next-generation antibiotics. Additionally, I am working to commercialize current antimicrobial peptides developed by Dr. Montelaro, assisting in licensing the technology as well as exploring options for a startup company.

Why I chose Pitt

I chose the University of Pittsburgh to pursue my PhD studies because of the breadth of faculty interests and their generally collaborative mindset. Scientific progress has increasingly moved further from highly-focused, discipline-specific research to a current state where some of the most interesting and high impact work occurs during cross-discipline collaborations, or at the intersection where emerging fields meet traditional, established disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Program immerses students in that atmosphere immediately and provides you with an early sense of the interconnectedness of biomedical research. Knowledge of that perspective combined with the freedom provided by the graduate program allows you to hone your interests and focus your research to take maximum advantage of the facilities and faculty during the course of your tenure as a PhD student.

Following completion of his PhD, Jonathan accepted a Postdoctoral Associate position in the lab of his mentor, Dr. Ronald C. Montelaro, to continue working on his research.

I chose to stay at the University of Pittsburgh specifically to work on the novel antimicrobial peptides developed by Dr. Montelaro, particularly the opportunities of developing new peptides as well as working towards advancing the technology to its commercial potential. These peptides are unique in their demonstrated ability to work in complex biological environments, which has been a major obstacle in advancing antimicrobial peptides as a class towards clinical applications. Pittsburgh is in the early stages of an economic revolution from its days as a steel town to a city focused on the industries of healthcare, education, and technology. I think this is a great time to be living, and working, in Pittsburgh.