Administration & Faculty Members



Peter Melby, M.D. - Director
Clinical and research training in tropical diseases; Immunopathogenesis of visceral leishmaniasis; drug discovery for leishmaniasis; malnutrition in infectious diseases.

Nisha Garg, Ph.D. - Associate Director
Inflammation, immunity, and vaccine efficacy in T. cruzi infection and Chagas disease; policy interests in prevention of chronic diseases as a global health problem.

Jonathan Mwiindi - East African Coordinator
Program design and implementation; budget development and management; health system strengthening, and mentoring of health-care administrators.

Jennifer Ellis - Program Manager
Center administration; budget development and mangement; graphic and web design.

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Paige Adams, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Immunopathology and infectious disease pathogenesis of alphaviruses in rodent, equine, and non-human primate animal models

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Alan Barrett, Ph.D.
Director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development and the predoctoral T32 in “Emerging and Tropical Infectious Diseases”; Development of vaccines against flavivirus diseases, including West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever and dengue; generation of YF17D chimeric vaccine viruses; identification of molecular determinants of virulence of West Nile and Japanese encephalitis viruses.

Dennis Bente, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Pathogenesis of tick-borne hemorrhagic fever viruses including Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus.

Donald Bouyer, Ph.D.
Pathogen, vector, and host determinants of rickettsial diseases.

Alan Brasier, M.D.
Mechanisms of NF-kB signaling and the role it plays in mediating inflammatory responses by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and cytokine stimulation; Director of UTMB’s Institutional CTSA and Clinical Proteomics Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Antonella Casola, M.D.
Viral and host-specific mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of respiratory viral infections; development of novel therapeutic interventions and vaccine candidates.

Alejandro Castellanos, Ph.D.
Host-parasite relationship and parasite evasion of the immune response.

Sadhana Chauhan, Ph.D.
Pathogenesis of Yersinia pestis and the identification of anti-plague therapeutics.

Tasnee Chonmaitree, M.D.
Pathogenesis, viral etiologies and genetic and environmental risk factors for acute otitis media.

Ashok Chopra, Ph.D., C.Sc.
Molecular pathogenesis of host-parasite interactions; structure-function relationships and regulation of bacterial virulence determinants; anthrax and plague.

Yingzi Cong, Ph.D.
Host immune response to intestinal microbiota, how microbiota regulate mucosal immunity, and the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases.

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Sara Dann, Ph.D.
Intestinal immune response to enteric bacterial and protozoal pathogens.

Robert Davey, Ph.D. - Adjunct Associate Professor
Cellular factors important for establishing infection by retroviruses and BSL4 viruses such as arenaviruses (Junin and Lassa fever virus), bunyaviruses, and filoviruses (Ebolavirus).

Melanie de Boer, Ph.D.
Intersection of wildlife and human diseases, infrastructure and development in the surveillance and epidemiology of diseases.

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Janice Endsley, Ph.D.
Mechanisms and regulation of cell mediated immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Rong Fang, M.D., Ph.D.
Immune mechanisms by which intracellular pathogens such as Rickettsia evade host defense surveillance.

Monique Ferguson, Ph.D.
Role and mechanism of action of cellular proteins (e.g. ADAM-10, CD63) involved in HIV replication.

Naomi Forrester, Ph.D.
Molecular dynamics and diversity of arboviral populations that impact transmission cycles; Venezuelan equine encephalitis transmission.

John Fraser, M.D.
Preventive medicine residency education, occupational medicine (which includes travel medicine), public health law, and public health emergency preparedness.

Vicki Freeman, Ph.D.
Laboratory identification of and testing for tropical diseases in resources limited countries, building laboratory capacity and in establishing and maintaining quality laboratory testing.

Alexander Freiberg, Ph.D.
Host-pathogen interaction in the development of disease following Nipah and Hendra virus and Bunyavirus (Rift Valley fever virus) infection.

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Roberto P. Garofalo, M.D.
Respiratory syncytial virus immunopathogenesis; inflammation; cytokine transcription; eosinophils; epithelial cell signaling.

Thomas Geisbert, Ph.D.
Pathogenesis of emerging and re-emerging viruses (Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and Lassa virus) that require Biosafety level (BSL)-4 containment and development of countermeasures against these viruses.

James Goodwin, M.D.
Identification of patterns, processes, and outcomes in the health care of minority and rural elderly populations.

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Norbert Herzog, Ph.D.
Molecular biology of cellular signal transduction in viral pathogenesis using proteomics; antivirals.

Stephen Higgs, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor
Mosquito-virus-vertebrate interactions using wild type and genetically engineered viruses; arboviral vaccine development and evaluation.

Michael Holbrook, Ph.D.
Immunopathogenesis of vector-borne and emerging viral diseases; Host cell response to viral infection; Vaccine development.

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Tetsuro Ikegami, Ph.D.
Molecular virology and vaccine development of important emerging viral diseases such as Rift Valley fever virus.

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Phil Keiser, M.D.
International HIV Program and Clinic Director; Health services and outcomes research in care and treatment of HIV and its related infections.

Thomas Ksiazek, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Epidemiology and ecology and laboratory diagnosis of hemorrhagic fevers and arthropod-borne viral diseases.

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A. Scott Lea, M.D.
Clinical Tropical medicine, international travel and adult infectious diseases.

James LeDuc, Ph.D.
Director of the Galveston National Laboratory; utilization of the facility to advance fundamental understanding of emerging infectious diseases and threats of bioterrorism.

James C. Lee, Ph.D.
Structure-function relationship of viral and host proteins and drug targets.

Frank Lemus, Ph.D.
Mechanisms that underlie population health; role of health care resources and utilization on chronic disease (diabetes) and infectious disease (pneumonia and influenza) outcomes among Latino elders.

Bruce Luxon, Ph.D.
Biomedical Informatics, Computational Biology, and Systems Biology applications to clinical and translational research.

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Shinji Makino, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) replication strategies, virus-host interactions and RVFV pathogenesis.

C. Glen Mayhall, M.D.
Epidemiology of healthcare-associated infections; surveillance and epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance.

Jere McBride, Ph.D.
Role of Ehrlichia DNA binding proteins in modulating eukaryotic host cell gene transcription, and their role in pathobiology and immunity.

Gregg Milligan, Ph.D.
Activation, effector function, and regulation of immunity to herpes simplex virus; interactions between viral pathogens and the innate immune system and how these interactions shape the adaptive immune response.

Massoud Motamedi, Ph.D.
Imaging approaches to study of pathogenesis of disease; Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering.

Vladimir Motin, Ph.D.
Yersinia pestis pathogenesis; vaccine; therapeutics.

Fred Murphy, Ph.D.
Virology, pathology and epidemiology of highly pathogenic viruses/viral diseases.

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David Niesel, Ph.D.
Bacterial pathogenesis, in vivo virulence gene expression, functional genomics.

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Juan Olano, M.D.
Development of diagnostics for rickettsial diseases; molecular pathogenesis of rickettsial diseases.

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Slobodon Paessler, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Viral pathogenesis and recombinant genetics of alphaviruses and arenaviruses.

Janak A. Patel, M.D.
Clinical Tropical medicine, international travel and pediatric infectious diseases.

Vsevolod Popov, Ph.D.
Ultrastructure of bacteria (especially rickettsia, ehrlichia, anaplasma, and chlamydia), viruses and protozoa pathogenic for humans and animals and their interaction with the host cells at the ultrastructural level.

Don Powell, M.D.
Pathophysiology of diarrheal and inflammatory bowel diseases; biology of intestinal mesenchymal cells.

Richard Pyles, Ph.D.
Molecular evaluation of pathogens and the host response to infections using in vitro and in vivo modeling and molecular analyses.

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Victor Reyes, Ph.D.
Mucosal immunology in infectious diseases and inflammatory bowel disease.

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Kimberly Schuenke, Ph.D.
Associate Director of the UTMB Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and program administrator for the Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research .

Jian Sha, M.D.
Host-bacterial interactions, characterization of bacterial virulence determinants, and regulation of virulence gene expression in pathogens such as Aeromonas, Salmonella, and Yersinia.

Lynn Soong, M.D., Ph.D
Mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis in human and experimental Leishmania infection.

Robin Stephens, Ph.D.
Generation and maintenance of adaptive immunity in malaria; B cell memory and splenic architecture and effector and memory T cell differentiation.

Jiaren Sun, M.D., Ph.D.
Immunological mechanisms of viral persistence (HCV) and pathogenesis, and the effector function of cytotoxic T cells in disease resolution or progression.

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Robert Tesh, M.D.
Ecology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and characterization of a variety of arthropod- and rodent-borne viral pathogens; Director of the World Reference Center of Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses, located at UTMB.

Saravanan Thangamani, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Arthropod-host-pathogen interactions and mechanisms of enhancement of viral transmission and establishment by blood feeding arthropods.

Nagaraja Thirumalapura, Ph.D.
Mechanisms of host defense against the tick-borne intracellular bacteria, Ehrlichia.

Sunil Thomas, Ph.D.
Mechanisms involved in Ehrlichia pathogen-host interaction; development of vaccines to protect against Ehrlichia infection.

Alfredo Torres, Ph.D.
Mechanisms used by pathogenic E. coli and other enteric pathogens to adhere and colonize the intestinal epithelia and characterization of the regulatory networks controlling their expression.

Bruno L. Travi, DVM, Ph.D.
Immunopathogenesis of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis; identification of new anti-leishmanial drugs; development and application of affordable, field-oriented molecular tools.

Chien-Te Tseng, Ph.D.
Initiation and regulation of the innate immune response to RNA viruses and viral mechanisms of immune evasion.

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Netanya Utay, M.D.
Factors that influence the immunologic effects of HIV and hepatitis C and the long-term consequences of chronic inflammation due to viral infections

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Gustavo Valbuena, M.D.
Pathogenesis, immunology, and development of animal models and in vitro systems for the study of rickettsial diseases.

Nikos Vasilakis, Ph.D.
Evolution and pathogenesis of arthropod-borne viruses, virus – mosquito, and virus – host interactions utilizing sylvatic dengue virus (DENV) as a model.

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David Walker, M.D.
Immunopathogenesis and immunity in infection with rickettsiae and ehrlichiae and identification of the protein antigens that stimulate immunity.

Pramila Walpita, Ph.D.
Development of virus-like particle (VLP)-based vaccines for Nipah virus and other paramyxoviruses.

Tina Wang, Ph.D.
Immune response to West Nile virus infection in protection and pathogenesis.

Stan Watowich, Ph.D.
Structural, biophysical, biochemical and computational studies of viruses and their component proteins; computer-based virtual screening and high-throughput screening of large chemical libraries for drug discovery.

Scott Weaver, Ph.D.
Alphavirus vaccine development, arboviral pathogenesis, genetics, ecology and evolution, and mechanisms of virus transmission by mosquitoes.

Susan C. Weller, Ph.D.
Field research related to public beliefs and acceptance of treatments and preventive measures.

A. Clinton White, Jr., M.D.
Human host-parasite interface and clinical tropical medicine; clinical and research training in parasitology, tropical medicine, and global health.

Rebeca Wong, Ph.D.
Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Aging and Health: Cross-national studies of the effect of lifestyle transitions, health care utilization, migration, disability and family support on healthy aging in the U.S. and Latin America.

Elbert Whorton, M.D.
Director, GNL-Biostat & Bioinformatics

Tom Wood, Ph.D.
Molecular evaluation of host-pathogen relationship as Director of the UTMB Recombinant DNA Laboratory and the Molecular Genomics Core.

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Min Kyung Yi, Ph.D.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) particle assembly, therapeutic target discovery, and pathogenesis of HCV-induced metabolic diseases and cancer.

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