Brian Schutte PhD

Associate Professor Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Pediatrics and Human Development
Email: schutteb [at] msu [dot] edu
5162 Biomedical Physical Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-4320

Brian is the dual Principal Investigator of CoSAGE along with his collaborator and spouse Dr. Debra Schutte.  Brian earned his undergraduate degree in Chemistry (1983) from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, a liberal arts college run by the Jesuit Order.  Attending Creighton University not only provided Brian with a top-notch education, but was also a natural extension of his Catholic roots.  The other important milestone at Creighton was that Brian and Deb were married.  Brian earned his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1988).  During this five-year period, Brian and Deb were blessed with their two children, Charles and Kaitlin.  Brian continued his training as a post-doctoral fellow in molecular genetics at the University of Chicago (1988-1991).  He then obtained a position in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  During his 17-year tenure at The University of Iowa, Brian gained extensive experience in the burgeoning field of human molecular genetics.  He was fortunate to play a small role in the sequencing of both the human genome and the mouse genome.  The new information generated in his lab led to the discovery of one of the genetic factors that causes cleft lip and palate.  Brian’s lab has also contributed to the discovery of genetic factors that alter immune response to bacterial infections, bleeding disorders and birth defects of the skin.  In 2008, Brian visited Michigan State University and learned of the remarkable work being done by the DREAM-M Team to identify genetic factors that cause congenital deafness in their partner community.  His response, “Wow!  Here is a nearly UNIQUE opportunity to take everything that I have learned about gene discovery and apply it in partnership with a community in an effort to promote health for not just one individual or one family, but a whole community, and even the global community.”  Consequently, Brian joined the MSU faculty as an Associate Professor in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and in Pediatrics and Human Development.  Whereupon he and Deb continue the work started by Dr’s Fisher, Friderici and Elfenbein in 1999.  When Brian is not sitting in front of his laptop (which is rare), Brian enjoys participating in music and sports, especially with Deb.  He also enjoys traveling, especially to visit their children (GA and NE) and families (NE and Germany).  If you attend St Joseph Church, you may catch Brian cantoring at the Saturday afternoon mass.  If you are driving in East Lansing, you may see Brian commuting (year round) to and from campus on his bicycle.  He’s the one wearing the highly fashionable fluorescent yellow jacket, blue helmet, black backpack and socks with sandals.