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Faculty Members of the IHII (S - Z)

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


Catherine Schein, MSc, PhD

Bacteriology, immunology, pathogenesis, structural biology, vaccine development, vector biology, virology
View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile My research focuses on structure and sequence based design of vaccines, anti-virals and inhibitors of toxins. My research group uses molecular docking tools, assembly of large databases, bioinformatic analytic methods, specialized methods for physicochemical property (PCP-) based consensus and motif identification, and analysis of variance.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, SCVD


Michael Sherman, PhD

Structural biology/imaging
View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile My research focuses on structure of alphaviruses, protein complexes, and intracellular bacteria (e.g. rickettsia) to study protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. My research approaches include different imaging techniques in electron microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy and (cryo-) electron tomography.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, SCVD


Robin Stephens, PhD

Immunology, pathogenesis, parasitology
View Department of Internal Medicine profile Research in my lab focuses on immunity to malaria infection. We are studying Plasmodium chabaudi as a model of human malaria using primarily multi-color flow cytometry and omics approaches to investigate T cell memory and other pathogenic determinants in vivo.
IHII center affiliations: CTD, SCVD

Jiaren Sun, MD, PhD

Immunology, pathogenesis, vaccine development, virology
View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile My research focuses on the immunological mechanisms during viral hepatitis and other liver diseases. Our research approaches include the generation of transgenic mouse systems, molecular and cellular manipulation and intervention in vivo, and advanced analytic methodologies to gain an insight to the complexed virus host interaction in the liver.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD



Robert Tesh, MD

Pathogenesis, vector biology, virology, epidemiology
View Department of Pathology profile My research focuses on the epidemiology and ecology of arthropod-transmitted and zoonotic viral diseases. My special interest is how these viruses are transmitted and maintained in nature. Another major interest is the discovery and characterization of new viruses.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD

Saravanan Thangamani, MSc, PhD

Immunology, pathobiology, vector biology, virology
View Department of Pathology profile My research interests are focused on elucidating the complex cellular and molecular immunology at the tick / mosquito-host-virus interface. My research focuses on tick-borne flaviviruses and mosquito-borne alphavirus.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD

Nagaraja Thirumalapura, PhD

Immunology, bacteriology, molecular diagnostics
 
My research has been focused on understanding of the mechanisms of host defenses against the tick-borne intracellular bacteria, Ehrlichia. My long-term goal is to understand the generation and maintenance of memory T cell responses during persistent bacterial infections.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD

Alfredo Torres, PhD

Bacteriology, pathogenesis, structural biology/imaging, vaccine development
View Department of Pathology profile Dr. Torres is interested in the mechanisms used by diarrheagenic Escherichia coli strains to adhere to and colonize intestinal epithelia. His laboratory is also investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of Burkholderia mallei and B. pseudomallei, with the goal of developing novel vaccines and therapeutics.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD



Chien-Te Kent Tseng, MS, PhD

Pathogenesis, immunology, vaccine development, virology
View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile My research focuses on the pathogenesis of emerging RNA viruses, especially SARS-CoV and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). Current projects include identifying innate signaling molecules and events relevant to immune evasion or protection, and establishing preventive and therapeutic strategies against aforementioned viruses. My approaches include reverse genetics, genomics and proteomics, gene knock-out/down, or constitutive expression to verify the roles of selected genes in viral pathogenesis.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD


Michael Underbrink, MD, MBA

Clinical, virology, pathogenesis
View Department of Otolaryngology profile My research interests involve the study of HPV infection of the head and neck. HPV infection causes respiratory papillomatosis and is a causative agent for a subset of head and neck carcinomas. My lab is currently determining the molecular interactions of HPV viral oncogenes within primary keratinocyte cell cultures and patient tissue samples to investigate novel therapies for the treatment of these infections within the upper aerodigestive tract.
IHII center affiliations: SCVD

Gustavo Valbuena, MD, PhD

Bacteriology, pathogenesis, imaging, vaccine development, vector biology
View Department of Pathology profile My research focuses on pathogenesis, immunology, vaccine development, and production of animal models and in vitro systems for the study of rickettsial diseases. My approach includes bone marrow chimeras, humanized mice, and screening of the entire rickettsial genome for identification of antigens recognized by T cells.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD, SCVD

Nikos Vasilakis, MA, PhD

Pathogenesis, vector biology, virology, vaccine development
View Department of Pathology profile My research interests involve basic research on evolution and pathogenesis of arthropod-borne viruses, virus mosquito, and virus host interactions utilizing sylvatic dengue virus (DENV) as a model.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD

David Walker, MD

Immunology, pathogenesis, bacteriology, vaccine development, vector biology
View Department of Pathology profile My research interests focus on arthropod transmitted-obligately intracellular Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Orientia.  Excellent mouse models and state-of-the-art immunologic approaches are employed to elucidate mechanisms of immunity and pathogenesis and vaccine development.  Other key activities include international collaboration in Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, and Cameroon.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD

Tian Wang, PhD

Immunology, pathogenesis, virology, vaccine development
View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile My research focuses on understanding of immune response to West Nile virus infection in protection and pathogenesis. West Nile virus, a vector-borne pathogen, has resulted in annual outbreaks of viral encephalitis in North America since 1999. Using a murine infection model, my current work explores immune factors contributing to the development of long-lasting protective immunity against West Nile virus.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD


Scott Weaver, PhD

Pathogenesis, structural biology/imaging, vaccine development, vector biology, virology
View Department of Pathology profile My research focuses on arboviruses, including mechanisms of emergence from enzootic cycles, evolution, mosquito-virus interactions, and vaccine development. My research approaches include reverse genetics to identify adaptive mutations that mediate host range changes, and field studies in Africa and Latin America to understand the ecology and epidemiology of emerging arboviruses.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID, CTD


A. Clinton White, MD

Clinical, immunology, parasitology
View Department of Internal Medicine profile Dr. White's research focuses on interactions between the host and pathogens. Among his research interests are host responses to Cryptosporidium and other intestinal protozoa, clinical studies in cysticercosis. He studies host responses controlling strongyloidiasis and immunoregulation in HIV-TB co-infection in Peru. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed publications in addition to numerous book chapters.
IHII center affiliations: CTD

Elbert Whorton, MD

Director, Galveston National Laboratory Biostatistics & Bioinformatics



Nadezhda Yun, MD

Clinical, immunology, parasitology
View Department of Pathology profile My research is focused on the mechanisms underlying disease development associated with infection of highly pathogenic arenaviruses Lassa (LASV) and Junin (JUNV). Using reverse genetics approach we seek to elucidate the genetic determinants responsible for the high pathogenicity and mortality of these viruses in animal models of human infection.
IHII center affiliations: CBEID

 

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