Christopher began his work in microbiology at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, where he studied the antimicrobial properties of botanical extracts in an NSF sponsored research project. Upon graduation with his BS in Biology, he entered the MD/PhD combined degree program at UTMB, and has conducted his graduate training in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He has worked under the guidance of Edward R. Sherwood, M.D., Ph.D., on a project exploring the mechanisms of immuno-modulation with the TLR4 agonist monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) in the treatment of sepsis. This work has focused on elucidating innate immune mechanisms responsible for improved outcomes in a murine model of severe bacterial infection following immuno-modulation with MPLA. MPLA is a detoxified derivative of LPS used as a vaccine adjuvant; and due to its current approval for use in humans it is an attractive immunomodulatory agent for further clinical development in the treatment and prevention of severe infections. His research project has resulted in first author publications in The Journal of Leukocyte Biology and Infection and Immunity, as well as numerous presentations at scientific meetings. This project was supported by a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health (NIAID).
After attaining his MD/PhD degrees, Christopher plans to compete residency training in internal medicine and a fellowship in critical care medicine. He hopes to pursue a career as an academic physician scientist working towards developing new methods for preventing and treating severe infections in the intensive care unit setting.