Center for Tropical Diseases (CTD)

Administration & Faculty Members

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

Patricia Aguilar, PhD - Associate Director
Research training in arboviruses; pathogenesis of emerging arboviruses and zoonotic viruses; diagnostics; drug discovery for arboviruses.

Philip Anyieth, MPH - Program Manager
Provide administrative support, manage CTD programs such as T32 and Global Grand Rounds, communicate with stakeholders, coordinate CTD efforts and activities with other centers, research/training programs and international partners.



Alan Barrett, PhD
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.

David Beasley, PhD
Molecular basis of virulence variations between West Nile virus strains; flaviviruses, arboviruses and smallpox

Dennis Bente, DVM, PhD
Pathogenesis of tick-borne hemorrhagic fever viruses including Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus.

Nigel Bourne, PhD
Genital herpes; hepatitis C virus; vaccines and antiviral agents

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

Bukreyev, Alexander, PhD


Miguel Cabada, MD, MSc
Epidemiology and host determinants of helminth infections; clinical tropical medicine

Maria Caravedo, MD.Currently involved in Tropical Medicine research as part of Dr. Cabada’s laboratory research team.

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

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

Ashok Chopra, PhD, CSc
Molecular pathogenesis of host-parasite interactions; structure-function relationships and regulation of bacterial virulence determinants; anthrax and plague.

Robert Cross, PhD, MPH
Viral hemorrhagic fever pathogenesis, Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Junin, hantaviruses, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Nipah, vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, systems biology, immunology, animal models, BSL-4, epidemiology, and ecology and of emerging viruses

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


Matt Dacso, MD
Epidemiology and social determinants of tropical diseases; global health education

Sara Dann-Grice, PhD
Intestinal immune response to enteric bacterial and protozoal pathogens.


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


Rong Fang, MD, PhD
Immune mechanisms by which intracellular pathogens such as Rickettsia evade host defense surveillance.

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


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

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

Thomas Geisbert, PhD
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.

George Golovko, PhD
Bioinformatics, genomics, and computational biology with a particular interest in microbiomes, environmental metagenomics, and human, animal, and plant RNA and DNA sequencing and analysis.

Grey Gray, MD., MPH, FIDSA
Risk factors for respiratory virus infections; One Health approach to identify and contain emerging pathogens, particularly respiratory viruses.



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


Bryan Johnson, PhD
Molecular determinates of coronavirus (CoV) infection; role of the CoV spike proteins in viral entry; Type I IFN responses induced by SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2; bacterial derived cyclic lipopeptides as antiviral compounds.


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

Kamil Khanipov, PhD

Kamil Khanipov, PhD
Bioinformatics, Applied Statistics, Data Science and Machine Learning; integration of multi-omics data and electronic medical records for health care related decision support.

Gary Kobinger - PhD, OM, MSC
Global Health, preparedness and response to infectious events of public health concerns, biosafety and biosecurity.

Thomas Ksiazek, DVM, PhD
Epidemiology and ecology and laboratory diagnosis of hemorrhagic fevers and arthropod-borne viral diseases.


Maureen Laroche, PhD
Ecology and epidemiology of neglected vector-borne bacteria, pathogenesis of vector-borne bacteria in the endothelium, acute febrile illnesses in refugee populations.

Corri Levine, PhD, MS, MPH
Director of the UTMB Biorepository for Severe Emerging Infections (BSEI); strengthening the healthcare system's response to emerging infectious disease threats; preparedness for clinical research during public health emergencies.

Yuejin Liang, PhD
Host immune response against viral and bacterial infections.

Minghua Li, PhD
Virus-host interactions for emerging and re-emerging viruses.


Shinji Makino, DVM, PhD
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) replication strategies, virus-host interactions and RVFV pathogenesis.

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

Susan McLellan, MD, MPH
Clinical care of individuals infected with high containment pathogens in both high and low resource settings; developing programs for integrated response to pandemic threats, including the rapid scale up of research during outbreaks.

Gregg Milligan, PhD
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, PhD
Imaging approaches to study of pathogenesis of disease; Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering.

Vladimir Motin, PhD
Yersinia pestis pathogenesis; vaccine; therapeutics.



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


Slobodon Paessler, DVM, PhD
Viral pathogenesis and recombinant genetics of alphaviruses and arenaviruses.

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

Premal Patel, MD, MSc, FACP
Social determinants of disease in resource limited settings; global health education.

Vsevolod Popov, PhD
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.

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


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

Shannan Rossi, PhD
Understanding the interactions between arboviruses and their mammalian hosts.


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

Lynn Soong, MD, PhD
Mechanisms of protection and pathogenesis in human and experimental Leishmania infection.

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

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

Keer Sun, PhD
Understanding the immune defense against respiratory pathogens, including influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus



Melinda Tanabe, MD
Zoonotic helminth infections with a particular interest in fascioliasis diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies

Robert Tesh, MD
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.

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, PhD
Immunopathogenesis of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis; identification of new anti-leishmanial drugs; development and application of affordable, field-oriented molecular tools.

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



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


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

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

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

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

Rebeca Wong, PhD
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. 

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