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Faculty Members of the IHII (D - L)

Members of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity are University of Texas Medical Branch faculty actively engaged in the study of infectious diseases and immunity.

Alphabetical Listing of IHII Members: A - C  |  D - L  |  M - R  |  S - Z

Sara Dann, PhD

Innate immunity, immune regulation, enteric pathogens
View Department of Internal Medicine profile »My research focuses on the induction and regulation of the host's immune response to bacterial and parasitic infections in the gut. We examine cross talk between epithelial cells and immune cells during infection. Current studies focus on: (1) IL-10 independent mechanisms of immune regulation; (2) induction of protective mucosal immunity in the absence of inflammatory signals; and (3) role of innate immune cells in inducing and suppressing intestinal inflammation.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD

Melanie de Boer, PhD

Epidemiology, surveillance, vaccine development
View Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health profile » My research interests include the intersection of wildlife diseases, infrastructure development and the re-emergence of infectious diseases; the implementation of the International Health Regulations to detect those pathogens; and the development of advanced epidemiological methods.
IHII center affiliations: CTD, SCVD

Tonyia Eaves-Pyles, PhD

Bacteriology, pathogenesis
View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »My research focuses on understanding the interaction between pathogenic bacteria and epithelial cells of the lung and intestinal tract, as well as professional immune cells. I also investigate the interaction between intestinal epithelial cells and bacteria, specifically the dynamics of the normal flora in combination with the intestinal epithelium and their interaction and response to invading organisms.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, SCVD

Janice Endsley, PhD

Bacteriology, immunology
View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »My research is focused on mechanisms and regulation of cell mediated immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). An important component of my work is investigations to determine how human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) compromises CD8+T cell and macrophage function in the host immune response to M.tb. I have also extended my studies of cytotoxic lymphocytes to include natural killer cell function in infectious disease and reproduction.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD


Rong Fang, MD, PhD

View Department of Pathology profile »We are interested in investigating the immune mechanisms by which mammalian hosts control intracellular pathogens. My current research focuses on cytosolic immune events, such as autophagy and inflammasomes, in macrophages and endothelial cells in response to cytosol-adapted pathogens. Our ongoing project(s) will be beneficial for rational design of potent vaccines.


Yuriy Fofanov, PhD

Bioinformatics, pathogen genomics View Sealy Center for Structural Biology & Molecular Biophysics profile »My research focuses on bioinformatics. My special interest is in Pathogen Genomics, application of next generation sequencing for identification of novel pathogens, and characterization of complex metagenomic samples.

Naomi Forrester, PhD

Pathogenesis, vector biology, virology View Department of Pathology profile »My research focuses on viral evolution, in particular within-host evolution of viruses. My research approach is to use a model system of mosquito and vertebrate infections and determine the viral evolution by deep sequencing. In addition I am using next generation sequencing to identify unknown viruses from field samples.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, SCVD

Alexander Freiberg, PhD

Pathogenesis, structural biology, imaging, vaccine development, virology
View Department of Pathology profile »My research focuses on emerging RNA viruses, specifically the molecular mechanisms by which they cause encephalitis or hemorrhagic fever, their structure and assembly, and vaccine development. My research approaches include the characterization of the host immune response and cellular signaling pathways following infection using cell culture and small animal models.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD



Thomas Geisbert, PhD

Pathogenesis, vaccine development, virology View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »My research focuses on the pathogenesis of emerging and re-emerging viruses that require Biosafety level (BSL)-4 containment and on the development of vaccines and postexposure treatments against these viruses. My work particularly emphasizes studies on viruses causing hemorrhagic fever (HF) including Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and Lassa virus.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD

Benjamin Gelman, MD, PhD

View Department of Pathology profile »Our work addresses the neurochemical, neurovirological, neuropathological and neuroimmunological effects of HIV infection and its comorbid conditions including hepatitis C. Our approach emphasizes using human tissue specimens. The current scientific focus is on the distribution and cellular identity of latent HIV in the tissues of patients with effectively suppressed virus replication. The goal is to target and destroy immune cells that support the latent pool of HIV DNA in the CNS and other body compartments.


Bin Gong, MD, PhD

Pathogenesis, structural biology/imaging, experimental pathology View Department of Pathology profile »I am interested in how the endothelial cells are injured by infections. The ongoing research projects: Multiple regulatory and signaling mechanisms that converge on VE-Cadherin underlying Rickettsia-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction; Initiating a novel direction to reveal the role of non-coding RNAs in repairing vascular damages after high consequence pathogen infections.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID



Tetsuro Ikegami, PhD

Vaccine development, virology View Department of Pathology profile »My research focuses on the development of countermeasures against Rift Valley fever (RVF). My research approaches include reverse genetics to rescue various recombinant Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) mutants, characterize innate and adaptive immune responses against those RVFV mutants, testing the efficacy of various vaccine candidates for RVF.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD



Alexander Kurosky, PhD

View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile » I have had a long standing interest in protein structure, function, and genetics in many biomedical scenarios. Currently, my research efforts center on the application of proteomics technologies to study airway diseases, especially asthma. Ongoing investigations include signaling pathways in eosinophils that impact asthma and asthma related steroid resistance.

James LeDuc, PhD

Virology, vector biology, bacteriology, global health, public health policy View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »Dr. LeDuc directs the Galveston National Laboratory, where basic and applied research is conducted on viruses, bacteria and rickettsia under various levels of biocontainment (BSL2, 3 and 4).
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD

James Lee, PhD

Molecular biophysics of signaling, structural biology/imaging View Molecular Biophysics Track (MBET) profile »My laboratory is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of regulation, in particular, the ground rules employed in recognizing specific targets and transmitting of signals among these macromolecular components.
IHII center affiliations: CTD, SCVD

Bruce Luxon, PhD

View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile »Research in our laboratory focuses on informatics, systems biology, and structural biology in a translational research environment. We pursue knowledge discovery through the analysis of very large data fields from microarray and Next Generation Sequencing genomics, MS proteomics, metabolomics and other high through put technologies. We have a special emphasis on developing leading edge machine learning strategies for modeling very high dimensional variable spaces through the use of integrative ensemble methods. We apply these techniques across a very wide variety of biomedical and clinical research areas seeking advancement in biomarker discovery, pathway analysis, target discovery, etc.

 

Alphabetical Listing of IHII Members:  A - C  |  D - L  |  M - R  |  S - Z