Biology Faculty | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Biology Faculty and Staff

Pierette Appasamy, PhD

Pierette Appasamy
Assistant Professor
Joined Chatham : 2007

Academic Areas of Interest

I have several areas of research interest. The first is understanding the molecular control of development and function of a subclass of T lymphocytes called gamma delta T cells in Xenopus laevis (the African clawed frog). A second area of research interest is the identification of the signaling processes involved in the response of the flatworm, planaria, to light. We have evidence that histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in this response, and are evaluating the precise mechanisms by which histamine is required for this response. I am also studying regeneration using planaria as a model system for tissue regeneration. When planaria are cut into pieces, each piece regenerates an entire body including head and tail. I am interested in the role of the Wnt signaling pathway in regeneration, as well as the role of the innate immune response in these processes. Another area of interest is in the effects of stress and exercise on immune response.

Personal Areas of Interest

Spending time with my family, playing tennis, running, and reading


B.S. Biology, cum laude, Xavier University, Cincinnati, 1982 Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, 1988 Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1987-1990 Instructor, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1990-1992 Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1992-2001 Special Projects Director, Office of Research, Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 1998-2001


  • B.S., Biology, cum laude, Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH), 1982
  • Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA), 1988
  • Post-doctoral fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1987-1990



  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Immunologists