Members of the IHII

Faculty Members

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. Their profiles are sorted by surname below.


  • Patricia Aguilar, PhDPatricia Aguilar, PhD

    Pathogenesis, vaccine development, virology
    View Department of Pathology profile » My main research interest is to better understand the mechanisms that enable emerging viruses to evade host immune responses and cause disease, and to identify cellular factors that contribute to viral infection. The main research goal is to unravel the highly complex host-pathogen interaction and identify novel prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to combat these viral pathogens. 

    Bill Ameredes, MS, PhDBill Ameredes, MS, PhD

    Airway inflammation, asthma, cytokines, interleukins, lung, airway remodeling
    View Department of Internal Medicine profile » Dr. Ameredes’ laboratory investigates cytokine networking interactions in the lung, with focus on the immunology of airway inflammation and its resolution. Studies include investigations of interleukin-10, a major anti-inflammatory cytokine, and interleukin-6, a major pro-growth and cell regulatory cytokine, and IL-12/23, a macrophage-derived regulatory cytokine affecting T-helper cell responses.

    Judith Aronson, MDJudith Aronson, MD

    Clinical, pathogenesis, virology
    View Department of Pathology profile » I have a long-standing interest in the study of pathogenesis of infectious diseases, particularly experimental animal models of acute viral diseases including viral hemorrhagic fevers and arbovirus encephalitides. Because of my training as a pathologist, I am most interested in disease mechanisms and tissue-based studies of infectious agent localization and host responses.

    Beth Auslander, PhDBeth Auslander, PhD

    View Department of Pediatrics profile » With the use of motivational and action-based theories, Dr. Auslander's research aims to identify factors related to parental intentions and initiation of HPV vaccination, so that these factors can be targeted in interventions to increase HPV vaccination rates, thereby providing greater vaccination coverage and protection for all against HPV-infection associated illnesses, including cervical and anal cancers.

    Xiaoyong Bao, PhDXiaoyong Bao, PhD

    Virology, vaccinology
    View Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine profile » Dr. Bao's research focuses on host-virus interaction, particularly in the infection of RSF and hMPV, with the goal of generating suitable vaccine candidates to prevent paramyxovirus infection.

    Alan Barrett, PhDAlan Barrett, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile » Our laboratory is undertaking development of flavivirus vaccines, including West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, Zika, yellow fever and dengue. We investigate the molecular basis of attenuation of 17D yellow fever vaccine. In addition, reverse genetics is being used to identify molecular determinants of flaviviruses. We also investigate the molecular epidemiology of various flaviviruses.

    David Beasley, PhDDavid Beasley, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » Research in my laboratory focuses on molecular determinants of phenotypic variations between individual strains and major groups of medically-important flaviviruses, including West Nile, dengue, and Zika viruses. We aim to facilitate development of new and improved vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics for this important group of emerging and re-emerging arthropod-borne viruses.

    Dennis Bente, DVM, PhDDennis Bente, DVM, PhD

    Virology, pathogenesis, viral hemorrhagic fevers, tick-borne viruses, vector biology, immunology, vaccine development
    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » My research focuses on tick-borne hemorrhagic fever viruses, including their pathogenesis, ecology, tick-virus interaction, and vaccine development. My main research interest is to better understand the mechanisms that enable tick-borne viruses to cause disease and to study the host-vector-pathogen interface.

    Suresh Bhavnani, PhDSuresh Bhavnani, PhD

    Biomedical informatics, network visualization
    View DIVA Project profile » By using my experience in network visualization and analysis, I collaborate with researchers at the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and the Galveston National Laboratory to analyze complex data related to infectious diseases, in addition to developing new methods that accelerate the translation of discoveries into effective treatments.

    Lucas Blanton, MDLucas Blanton, MD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile » Dr. Blanton's research interests are focused on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of Rickettsial diseases, as well as on new and undescribed vectors of Rickettsial diseases.

    Istvan Boldogh, DM&B, PhDIstvan Boldogh, DM&B, PhD

    Host defense, innate response, vaccines efficacy
    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » A key characteristic of the host innate immune system is the ability to detect infectious agents and mount a rapid defensive response. My research is focuses on molecular mechanism by which innate response is activated and regulated at the level of transcription factor-DNA interface for expression of cytokines, chemokines.

    Paul Boor, MDPaul Boor, MD

    View Department of Pathology profile » My laboratory’s interest is in the area of vascular biology and especially endothelial – vascular smooth muscle interactions. Along with this, transplantation biology and especially vascular and antibody-mediated rejection are under study. Collaborative work with others in our group focus on autoimmune phenomenon and how environmental factors play a role in autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus.

    Nigel Bourne, PhDNigel Bourne, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » Dr. Bourne's primary research interests include the stuff of in vivo models used to explore the pathogenesis of infectious disease, focusing on genital and neonatal Herpes simplex viral infection.

    Donald Bouyer, PhDDonald Bouyer, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile » Dr. Bouyer is a general surgical pathologist with a subspecialty fellowship training in thoracic pathology. His focus is devoted to diagnostic surgical pathology and teaching, with particular interest in pulmonary pathology. Dr. Bouyer's research is focused on pathogenesis and host response mechanisms of rickettsial diseases.

    Werner Braun, PhDWerner Braun, PhD

    View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile » Research interests include: determining how apurinic/apyrimidinic endonucleases respond to subtle differences in the structure and dynamics of DNA sites damaged by low dose ionizing radiation; relating motifs identified by MASIA to the function of DNA recognition, catalysis and protein-protein interaction - screening gene databases with these novel motifs should reveal new candidates for APE related proteins; and developing software tools for determining protein structures by NMR in Structural Genomics Projects.

    Alexander Bukreyev, PhDAlexander Bukreyev, PhD

    Antivirals, immunology, pathogenesis, vaccine development, virology
    View Department of Pathology profile » Research in our laboratory focuses on development of vaccines against filoviruses Ebola and Marburg; investigation of mechanisms of their high pathogenicity; investigation of contribution of specific proteins and their functional domains using reverse genetics (i.e., generation of recombinant viruses from DNA); development small-molecule antivirals.

    William J. Calhoun, MD, FACP, FCCP, FAAAAI, FACAAIWilliam J. Calhoun, MD, FACP, FCCP, FAAAAI, FACAAI

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile » My principal interests are the pathogenesis and management of obstructive airway diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We seek to understand the cytokine expression patterns that characterize specific molecular phenotypes of these diseases, and to define the role of glucocorticoid receptor dysfunction in the expression of severe asthma.

    Victor Cardenas, Jr., MDVictor Cardenas, Jr., MD

    View Department of Internal Medicine Profile » My research focuses on investigating mechanisms underlying sepsis induce acute lung inflammation in in animal models and human patients. Current investigations include DNA base excision repair pathway dysfunction and innate immunity, neutrophil phenotype and chemokine interactions, and identification of possible therapeutic targets for sepsis induced lung injury.

    Antonella Casola, MDAntonella Casola, MD

    View Sealy Center for Molecular Medicine profile » Research is focused on the investigation of viral- and host-specific mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of respiratory viral infections. Research efforts include investigating the pathogenesis of respiratory diseases caused by human metapneumovirus (hMPV). Dr. Casola's laboratory uses recombinant hMPV viruses to investigate specific viral protein functions, with the ultimate goal to understand disease pathogenesis and design effective vaccines.

    Alejandro Castellanos-Gonzalez, PhDAlejandro Castellanos-Gonzalez, PhD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »
    Research interests include molecular biology and immunology of intestinal infections caused by protozoan and helminthes. Current projects at the lab: "Gene Expression in Human Intestines in Response to Cryptosporidium Infection" and "Point-of-care diagnostic tests for intestinal protozoa."

    Lee-Nien Lillian Chan, PhDLee-Nien Lillian Chan, PhD

    Professor Emeritus

    Teh-sheng Chan, MD, PhDTeh-sheng Chan, MD, PhD

    Professor Emeritus
    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »

    Celia Chao, MDCelia Chao, MD

    View Department of Surgery profile » My research interests include: basic mechanisms of colorectal cancer initiation, progression and metastatis as it relates to carcinoma-associated fibroblasts and tumor associated macrophages in the tumor microenvironment; the role of transulfuration enzymes in colitis-associated colorectal cancer risk; and the identification of inflammatory biomarkers in response to cardiotoxic treatment regimens in breast cancer patients.

    Kyung (Kay) Choi, PhDKyung (Kay) Choi, PhD

    View Department of SCSB profile » Our research focuses on the structure and mechanism of viral replication and infection machinery using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. High-resolution X-ray crystal structures of individual component proteins can be fitted into lower resolution cryo-EM density maps to generate pseudo-atomic structure of large macromolecular complexes.

    Ashok Chopra, PhD, CScAshok Chopra, PhD, CSc

    Bacteriology, immunology, pathogenesis, vaccine development
    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » My research focuses on bacterial select agents and GI pathogens with specific emphasis on bacterial-host cell interaction, virulence factors/mechanisms associated with bacterial virulence, bases of molecular pathogenesis, development of live-attenuated and subunit vaccines, animal model development, and testing of new therapeutics and vaccines in animal models.

    Jin Mo Chung, PhDJin Mo Chung, PhD

    Neuro-infection, neuro-immunology, sensory disorders, pain
    View Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology profile » I am a life-long sensory and motor neurobiologist, whose research focus has centered mainly on chronic pain and motor deficits. Recently, my interest has expanded into the areas of neuro-infectious diseases and neuro-immunological abnormalities. Based on my background, I am particularly interested in the development of pain and motor deficits that frequently occur during the post-infection recovery phase.

    Irma Cisneros, PhDIrma Cisneros, PhD

    Substance use disorder, neuroinfectious diseases, neuroimmunity, CNS innate immune responses
    View Department of Pathology profile »
    Cocaine and opioid addiction are major burdens in the US. Long-term drug addiction, especially in comorbidity with HIV-1 or other viruses, promote neuroinflammation-associated toxicities resulting from unmanageable inflammatory responses and decreased antiviral immunity. We hope to uncover pharmacological targets in the periphery and the CNS to alleviate toxic innate immune outcomes.

    Alison Coady, PhD

    Fungal pathogenesis, fungal-bacterial interaction, fungal immunity
    View Department of Microbiology and Immunology profile » With the rising incidence of serious fungal infections and treatment-resistant fungal species, there is an urgent need to understand how host immune responses contribute to patient outcome during fungal infection. My research seeks to understand the mechanisms necessary to balance protective immunity and immunopathology during infection by Candida species.

    Jason Comer, PhDJason Comer, PhD 
    Adjunct Associate Professor

    View Office of Non-clinical Regulated Studies profile » Dr. Comer is interested in the development of infectious disease models that can be used to evaluate the vaccine and therapeutics under the standards set by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Yingzi Cong, PhDYingzi Cong, PhD
    Adjunct Professor

    Mucosal Immunology, host-microbiome interaction, vaccine development View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » My basic research programs focus on investigating host immune system-microbiome interaction in the intestines, pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease, and development of mucosal vaccines, which are based on analyzing various unique murine models using a battery of reagents that have been developed recently.

    Tiziana Corsello-Gorgun, PhD

    View Research Expert Profile >>

    Viral infections, Extracellular vesicles, Infectious disease

    Dr. Corsello's research focuses on the viral-, environmental- and host-specific mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of respiratory viral infections in children. The goal of her research is to develop therapeutic strategies against viral infection airway mediated disease

    Robert Cross, PhD, MPHRobert Cross, PhD, MPH

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » Dr. Cross’ research is centered on the biology and pathogenesis of high priority viral agents, with a particular emphasis on elucidating mechanisms of vascular leak, coagulopathy, and immune derangement in viral hemorrhagic fever infections caused by filoviruses, arenaviruses, and bunyaviruses. His work utilizes systems biology, molecular virology, and comparative pathogenesis approaches.

    Kathryn A. Cunningham, PhD

    View Center for Addiction Research profile » My research focuses on disease-related brain signaling pathways involved in neuropsychiatric disorders, which can be also be targeted by infectious diseases. My research approaches include cellular signaling and molecular network analyses, neurocircuitry and neuropsychopharmacology analyses. These discovery efforts are translationally geared to develop new biomarkers and drug discovery targets to improve diagnosis and treatment of debilitating disorders. View CV - PDF



  • Alok DabiAlok Dabi, MD

    Neuroprotection, brain-gut-microbiome axis, acute neurology
    View Department of Neurology profile »Dr. Dabi's research interest is in the brain-gut-microbiome axis and its role in several neurological disorders. He is researching the axis and the potential for its modulation via diet and the use of pre- and probiotics.

    Sara Dann, PhDSara 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.

    Laura Dickson, PhDLaura Dickson, PhD
    View Google Scholar page

    Our lab’s research involves trying to understand the genetic and environmental basis of mosquito – pathogen interactions. We aim to identify the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms underlying mosquito susceptibility to pathogens, as well as understanding the role that the mosquito microbiome plays in mosquito susceptibility to pathogens. CV


    Kelly Dineley, PhDKelly Dineley, PhD

    View Department of Neurology profile » The overall goal of my research program is to better understand the maladaptive neuroplastic changes in the brain related to cognitive deficits that arise in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. For the past 15 years I have been studying neuroplasticity in animal models of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including infectious disease, central pain, cocaine addiction, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, for which I am currently funded and have been funded throughout my career.


    Jianli Dong, MD, PhDJianli Dong, MD, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »Dr. Dong's research is focused on BRAF/MEK/ERK and p16/CDK/RB pathways in cancer biology, as well as molecular diagnostics and translational research, including research and development of molecular biomarkers in clinical applications.


    Amina El Ayadi, PhD

    Research Interests:
    Tissue repair involves adaptative immunity and the contribution of lymphocytes. The hyperinflammatory response to traumatic injury leads to aberrant wound healing, overactivation of myofibroblast, and subsequent hypertrophic scar development. My research is focused on identifying the role of the gamma-delta (γδ) resident T cells in wound healing and myofibroblast differentiation.
    Keywords: Wound healing, inflammation, lymphocytes, adaptative immunity, wound infections

    Janice Endsley, PhDJanice 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.

    Mark Endsley, PhDMark Endsley, PhD

    Virology, immunology
    View UTMB Researchgate profile
    Research in my lab focuses on various aspects of HIV infection. We are currently working on projects related to the discovery of new anti-retroviral compounds, development of a sterilizing mucosal response through vaccination, and HIV-associated comorbidities that arise in patients with long-term infection.

    Olivier Escaffre, PhD

    I am a Research Scientist II in Dr. Alexander N. Freiberg’s laboratory in the department of Pathology at UTMB. My research work involves studying the pathogenesis of emerging zoonotic viruses in containment laboratories (BSL-3/4). Specifically, I have extensive experience using 2 and 3-dimensional human lung and vaginal models to study the early steps of infection and virus dissemination. I also have a strong interest in the development/characterization of therapeutics against these agents.

    Eduardo Eyzaguirre,
MD Eduardo Eyzaguirre, MD
    View Department of Pathology profile » Dr. Eyzaguirre utilizes a hamster model to study viral determinants of hantavirus pulmonary disease.



    Rong Fang, MD, PhDRong 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.

    Monique Ferguson, PhDMonique Ferguson, PhD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »My research interests are to investigate mechanisms by which host cell factors facilitate different stages of the HIV life cycle and the development of small molecules that disrupt key virus-host interactions. In collaboration, I am focused on the development of co-culture systems: (1) to study how HIV alters the vaginal microbiome; and (2) to delineate the immunologic mechanisms of hepatic fibrosis in HIV/HCV co-infection.

     Alexander Freiberg, PhDAlexander 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.

    Matthieu G. Gagnon, PhDMatthieu G. Gagnon, PhD

    Structural biology/biochemistry, ribosome, bacterial pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »My research aims to understand the basic cellular processes regulating protein synthesis by elucidating atomic structures of ribosome, RNA and protein functional complexes. Our goals are to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which human pathogens gain resistance to ribosome-targeting antibiotics using structural biology, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology techniques.

    Roberto Garcia, MD

    View Department of Neurosursgery profile » I have a broad background in laboratory research in neurosurgery, specifically within the fields of endovascular neurosurgery, neuro-oncology and traumatic brain injury. Our lab primarily focuses around novel device development and therapies, including viral vectors for glioblastoma treatment and small molecular stimulators for stroke recovery.

    Nisha Garg, PhDNisha Garg, PhD

    Pathogenesis, oxidative response networks and inflammation, vaccine development, cardiomyopathy
    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile » My research focuses on understanding a) the changes in gene regulation and the signaling cascade that contribute to myocardial cytoskeletal rearrangement and mitochondrial dysfunction; and b) the role of free radicals in pathological processes, i.e., inflammation, oxidative damage, and clinical severity of cardiac disease of infectious and non-infectious etiologies. We are also working on developing a candidate vaccine against Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas disease. Our collaborators are at the UTMB and several laboratories in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico.

    Roberto Garofalo, MDRoberto Garofalo, MD

    View Department of Pediatrics profile » My research focuses on respiratory viral infections in infants, in particular those that are caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). We are investigating aspects of RSV pathogenesis and treatment as they relate to airway inflammation and long-term morbidity, including recurrent wheezing and chronic asthma. We use different approaches, from cellular systems, to experimental infections and naturally occurring infections in human.

    Thomas Geisbert, PhDThomas 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.

    Benjamin Gelman, MD, PhDBenjamin 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.

    Randall Goldblum, MDRandall Goldblum, MD

    View Department of Pediatrics profile » My current interests are largely in environmental effects on the development of diseases and on ways to reduce this burden to society by prevention of exposures and unique therapeutic products that can be used to treat these diseases.


    George GolovkoGeorge Golovko, PhD

    View UTMB Research Experts profile
    My research focuses on the development of bioinformatics applications designed to utilize Next Generation DNA Sequencing data for microbiome analysis, viral SNP characterization, and pathogen detection and identification. Specifically, I lead the development of genomic risk assessment based on multi-omics of host-pathogen interactions, as well as identification of interaction patterns in multidimensional space.

    Bin Gong, MD, PhD

    Pathogenesis, structural biology/imaging, experimental pathologyView Department of Pathology profile » My research focuses on the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in replication and pathogenesis of RNA viruses. Specifically, I use X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy in conjunction with RNA engineering to understand the structure and function of viral RNA elements in the context of virus infection.

    Keerthi Gottipati, PhD

    Viral RNA structure, Cryo-Electron Microscopy, RNA engineering, X-ray crystallography.  View PubMed » My research focuses on the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in replication and pathogenesis of RNA viruses. Specifically, I use X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy in conjunction with RNA engineering to understand the structure and function of viral RNA elements in the context of virus infection.

    Andrew Grant, MDAndrew Grant, MD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile » Dr. Goldblum is a physician specializing in allergies and immunology. His clinical research has focused on new therapies for patients with angioedema and immunodeficiency.


    Gregory Gray, MD, MPH, FIDS

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile » Gregory C. Gray MD, MPH, FIDSA is an infectious disease epidemiologist and Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He is affiliated with three Departments: Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Microbiology and Immunology, and Preventive Medicine & Population Health. Website:

    Tapas Hazra, PhDTapas Hazra, PhD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile » My research focuses on microbial infection-induced oxidative genome damage repair in host tissues. Our studies will investigate the mechanistic basis of how modulating host genome repair can be an effective therapeutic intervention for combating pathogenic infection.

    Yashoda Madaiah Hosakote,
PhDYashoda Madaiah Hosakote, PhD

    View UTMB Researchgate profile
    My research focuses on the investigation of virus-and host specific mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of viral respiratory infections. Our goal is to dissect the novel molecular pathways of respiratory virus-induced lung inflammation in order to develop novel therapeutic interventions to treat and prevent respiratory infections using high throughput molecular and proteomics tools.

    Haitao Hu, PhDHaitao Hu, PhD

    HIV/AIDS, antiviral immunity, host-virus interactions, vaccine, viral vectors, HIV latency, T cell biology View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »Dr. Hu's current research is focused on antiviral immunity and host-virus interactions in HIV infection and vaccination.



    Cheng Huang, PhDCheng Huang, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »My main research interests is to investigate the virus-host interaction and the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic arenavirus viruses as well as the development of vaccines and therapeutics against pathogenic arenavirus infection.


    Tetsuro Ikegami, PhDTetsuro 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.

    Mini M. Jose, PhD, RN, FNP-CMini M. Jose, PhD, RN, FNP-C

    View School of Nursing profile »My current research focus is to improve the primary care outcomes of reproductive age women. Bacterial vaginosis is a common and difficult to control women’s health issue encountered at primary care practices. My research focus is to test newer antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis and aerobic vaginitis.

    Cheryl Juneau, DrPH, RN, FNP-BCCheryl Juneau, DrPH, RN, FNP-BC

    View School of Nursing profile »I am faculty in the School of Nursing and a Family Nurse Practitioner. As a member of the Multi-Translational Team (GI), I have collaborated with infectious diseases faculty on research pertaining to community-acquired Clostridium difficile. As a clinician with a doctorate in Public Health, my research interests are focused on communicable diseases, including emerging infectious diseases.

    Peter Kan, MD, MPH, FRCSC, FAANS

    My research interests comprise the development of therapies and endovascular devices that advance the treatment of neurovascular pathologies, i.e., ischemic stroke, aneurysms, and neuropathic pain. Recently, COVID-19 has complicated many of these neurovascular pathologies and further research is needed to understand the complexity of this viral infection and the brain. Departmental Profile – Laboratory -

    Bhupendra Kaphalia, PhDBhupendra Kaphalia, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »In general, I am working on formation, distribution, metabolism, disposition and toxicity evaluation of lipid conjugates of xenobiotic alcohols and development of analytical methods (HPLC, GC & TLC) involved in in vitro and in vivo metabolism of compounds of biological and environmental interest. I use state of art nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry for characterization of the metabolites.

    Philip Keiser, MDPhilip Keiser, MD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »
    Dr. Keiser’s primary interest is the care and treatment of HIV and its related infections. He is the director of the Ryan White Clinical in Galveston and is the lead physician for the regional AIDs Education and Training Center. He also directs the UTMB Antibiotic Stewardship Program and is the Local Health Authority for Galveston County. His clinical research focuses on outcomes and cost effectiveness studies of HIV in resource limited settings; effects of HIV on orphans and vulnerable children in Africa; and antibiotic stewardship.

    Kamil KhanipovKamil Khanipov, PhD

    View CV » Precision Medicine for Prediction of Optimal Mode of Delivery in Pregnancy. Precision Medicine for Prediction of Diabetic Foot Ulcer Complications. Novel Methods for Identification of Multi-Dimensional Co-Exclusion Patterns in Oral Microbiomes. Unraveling the Roles of Genetic Predisposition and Microbiota Dysbiosis in Heart Failure Associated Comorbidities. Detection and Visualization of Multidimensional Patterns in Multi-omics Data. Modulation of Gut Bacteriome: Impact on Tumor Stroma in Colon Cancer. Hurricane Harvey Decision-Support – Resilient Environments and Communities. Cytosine Deamination Adducts and Cancer Etiology.

    M. Firoze Khan, PhDM. Firoze Khan, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »
    Dr. Khan's research interests include: oxidative stress and autoimmune diseases; chemical-induced autoimmunity; molecular mechanisms of splenic toxicity of aromatic amines; and biomarkers of chemical exposure.

    Gayle Olson Koutrouvelis, MD, MPHGayle Olson Koutrouvelis, MD, MPH

    View Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology profile»
    I am the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Fellowship Director, and foster, oversee and mentor fellow research projects. My research interests are primarily clinical in global health, infectious disease obesity/diabetes and pregnancy outcome. Collaborating with Dr. Miguel Cabada has opened new opportunities for fellows for projects in infectious disease and pregnancy outcomes in middle income countries.

    Thomas Ksiazek, DVM, PhDThomas Ksiazek, DVM, PhD

    View Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciencesprofile » Epidemiology/ecology and laboratory diagnosis of hemorrhagic fevers and arthropod-borne viral diseases. Consultant on operational biosafety and facility design to USDA, DOD, DHS, and several international laboratories. High containment laboratory and field operations experience in national laboratories for over 35 years. International experience includes long-term professional assignments in England, Taiwan, Indonesia and Egypt as well as extensive outbreak experience in Asia, Africa and South America.

    Michael KuehtMichael Kueht, MD

    My research interests include management of immunosuppression in solid organ transplantation and the physiology and immunology of end stage liver and kidney disease. Bio Sketch | CV

    Jun-Ho La, DVM, PhDJun-Ho La, DVM, PhD

    View Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology profile » Dr. La’s research focuses on sensory neuronal plasticity in peripheral and central nervous system as a mechanism of, and a therapeutic target for, chronic neuropathic, inflammatory, and functional pain. One of his main research interests is sensory neuron-immune cell interactions leading to postinfectious/postinflammatory chronic pain.

    Fernanda LaezzaFernanda Laezza, MD, PhD

    View Department of of Pharmacology & Toxicology profile » Dr. Laezza's research interests include biological and translational psychiatry, neuroscience and neuropharmacology; drug discovery; molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disorders; regulation of excitability and synaptic transmission by protein; protein interaction; intracellular signaling pathways; quantitative approaches in biology; multi scale image analysis, high throughput screening, enabling technologies.

    Alan Lee Landay, PhD
    Dr. Alan Landay is Vice President of Team Science and Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston.  He has been involved in HIV research for over 42 years.  Dr. Landay has published over 580 peer reviewed papers focused on basic and clinical studies of HIV with an emphasis role of immune activation, inflammation and microbiome in HIV pathogenesis, therapy, aging, and cure research. 

    Michael Laposata, MD, PhDMichael Laposata, MD, PhD
    View Department of Pathology profile »Dr. Laposata is the Chair of the Department of Pathology. His primary research interests are: (1) fatty acid alterations in patients with cystic fibrosis, and (2) diagnostic mistakes, particularly involving evaluation of patients for bleeding and thrombotic disorders.

    William Lawrence, PhDWilliam Lawrence, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »Dr. Lawrence’s research focuses on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of anthrax infection with special emphasis on the physiological effects of anthrax toxins. He is also involved in the evaluation of drugs, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines that inhibit anthrax disease progression. This research will aid in the discovery of new anthrax prophylactics and therapeutics.

    James Lee, PhDJames Lee, PhD

    Professor Emeritus

    Sunhee Lee, PhDSunhee Lee, PhD

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontuberculous mycobacteria View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »Dr. Lee’s research interests focus on identifying the genetic basis of important virulence traits, key components of host-pathogen interaction, and immunogenicity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacteria. A long-term goal of her laboratory is the generation of safe and effective mycobacterial vaccines and therapeutics.

    Minghua Li, PhD

    Emerging and re-emerging viruses, virus-host interactions, innate immunity to viral infection.  View Department of Pathology profile »
    We are interested in identifying host proteins that control viral infection and understanding how viruses manipulate host cellular pathways for productive replication. The goal of our research is to investigate the mechanisms by which viruses and host cells interact and inform the development of novel host-directed therapeutics.

    Hua Liu, PhD

    My research interests are: 1) to understand the role of Sirt6 in retinal neurovascular degeneration in aging-related diseases such as glaucoma and Alzheimer's disease; 2) to understand virus-host interaction in the retina during Zika virus (ZIKV) infection.


  • Shinji Makino, DVM, PhD

    Pathogenesis, vaccine development, virology
    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »
    We study various aspects of SARS coronavirus-host cell interactions, attempting to understand viral pathogenesis at the molecular level. We also study viral RNA synthesis, assembly, virus-host cell interactions and vaccine development of Rift Valley fever virus, which is highly pathogenic for humans and ruminants.

    Junki Maruyama DVM, PhD

    Zoonosis, viral hemorrhagic fever, animal model, pathogenicity, host immune response, vaccine/therapeutic development
    View Research Experts profile »
    My research focuses on zoonotic viruses, such as influenza virus, filovirus, arenavirus, and coronavirus. My research approaches include reverse genetic system, molecular biology, animal model development, and vaccine/therapeutic development.

    Jere McBride, PhD

    Cellular microbiology, bacteriology, immunology, pathobiology

    View Department of Pathology profile »
    Identification and molecular characterization of protective immunodeterminants of Ehrlichia spp., investigation of pathogenic mechanisms and host-pathogen interactions of Ehrlichia, understanding the molecular mechanisms in the adaptation of Ehrlichia to mammalian and arthropod hosts, and translational research on development of diagnostics and vaccines for the ehrlichioses.

    Peter Melby, MD, FASTMH

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »
    Dr. Melby is the director of both the Center for Tropical Diseases and the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases. His research focuses on the immunopathogenesis of infectious diseases, particularly leishmaniasis. His laboratory is involved in studies of mechanisms of disease, the impact of malnutrition on host defense, drug discovery, and point-of-care diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases. He is also involved in clinical and research training in tropical infectious diseases.

    Vineet Menachery, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile
    I am interested in emergence of novel coronaviruses and the role of host factors/comorbidities in infection outcomes. The emergence of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV underscores the threat of cross-species transmission events. Our experimental platforms seek to leverage metagenomics data, robust reverse genetic systems, and the CoV life cycle to prepare for future CoV outbreaks. A second research focus considers the impact of comorbidities on specific host factors and infection outcomes.

    Terumi Midoro-Horiuti, MD, PhD

    View Sealy Center for Vaccine Development profile »
    My research focuses on structure and functions of allergens and environmental effects on the development of allergic diseases. We are working on the mechanism of prenatal and early post natal environment, including microbiome on the immune development.

    Gregg Milligan, PhD

    View Sealy Center for Vaccine Development profile »
    The primary focus of my laboratory is to investigate the protective role of B and T lymphocytes against HSV infection of the genital tract, sensory ganglia, and central nervous systems. We also study how interactions between single-cycle WNV vaccines and the innate immune system shape the adaptive immune response.

    Chad Mire, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »
    My research focuses on understanding host-pathogen interactions of lethal negative strand RNA viruses. Using reverse genetics we characterize viruses in vitro and in vivo elucidating what is important for virus replication thereby potentially revealing pathways for small molecule inhibitors or therapeutics which can be targeted for protective benefit.

    Vladimir Motin, PhD

    Bacteriology, pathogenesis, vaccine development, systems biology
    View Department of Pathology profile »
    My major research interest is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the nature of the acute bacterial infectious process caused by Y. pestis, the etiological agent of plague. The unraveling of Y. pestis virulence network will allow us to determine novel targets for therapeutics beyond antibiotics, generation of new vaccines and for development of robust diagnostic assays.

    Frederick Murphy, DVM, PhD

    Professor Emeritus
    Email Dr. Murphy »

    Hema Prasad Narra, PhD

    My research focuses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis by Rickettsia and Orientia species. We apply multidisciplinary approaches including genomic, proteomic, and next-generation sequencing to identify virulence and persistence determinants and address the complex interactions of the pathogen with their mammalian host and arthropod vector.
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    Surendra Negi, PhD

    Bioinformatics, computational biology
    My research focuses on: 1) understanding the molecular recognition mechanisms used by proteins to perform various cellular functions and their role in human diseases using computational strategies, 2) use of immunoinformatics for epitope discovery and rational vaccine design, and 3) the development of new strategies to overcome emerging drug resistance.

    Guy Nir, PhD

    Research interests: How do genomes reorganize in 3D to regulate functional outputs, specifically during a viral infection? To study that, we are utilizing a recent super-resolution genome imaging technology we developed to explore the structural and transcriptional response of the host genome to viral infections. We believe that our unique approach could uncover novel therapeutic targets.

    Juan Olano, MD

    Bacteriology, anatomic and clinical pathology, endothelial pathology, pathogenesis
    View Department of Pathology profile »My research interests are focused on the pathogenesis of obligate intracellular bacteria. My long term goal is to study molecular pathogenesis of rickettsioses. I am interested in adherens- and tight junction proteins and the signal transduction pathways involved in their regulation. Another area of focus is the development of ultrasensitive diagnostic methods for rickettsial infections and the development of small animal models.

    Andres Oberhauser, PhD

    View Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology profile »My research focuses on the dynamics and mechanics of proteins using single-molecule manipulation techniques. My laboratory has developed methods to investigate the effect of disease-causing mutations on the nano-mechanics of muscle and kidney protein complexes. We are also using AFM-based nano-mechanical studies in living cells infected with Rickettsiae montanensis.

    Slobodan Paessler, DVM, PhD

    Molecular biology, viral pathogenesis, vaccine/antivirals, and diagnostics development
    View Department of Pathology profile »My main research interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which emerging RNA viruses cause encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, or respiratory diseases. Central nervous system (CNS) invasion by RNA viruses is a particularly complex and fascinating process. We seek to elucidate the nature of the neuroinflammatory response to CNS invasion by viruses in diverse families such as Togaviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Bunyaviridae and Arenaviridae.

    Janak Patel, MD

    View Department of Pediatrics profile »
    I am engaged in clinical practice of pediatric infectious diseases. My research interest is in the study of respiratory viral epidemiology, host response and complications leading to acute otitis media in children. The roles of host genes of innate immunity, cytokines and viral-bacterial interactions in the nasopharynx are also being studied.

    C.J. Peters, MD

    Professor Emeritus
    Email Dr. Peters »

    Vsevolod Popov, PhD, DSc
    Bacteriology, pathogenesis, structural biology/imaging, electron microscopy, virology
    View Department of Pathology profile »My research interests include 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 in patients and in model systems.

    Don Powell, MD

    Immunology, clinical, structural biology/imaging, host response
    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »My research interests currently include the biology of intestinal mesenchymal cells, including their role in the colon cancer microenvironment and their immunological role in promoting immune tolerance or in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease and the response to infection.

    Brendan Prideaux, PhD

    Brendan Prideaux, PhD

    View Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Anatomy profile »
    My research interests are the application of mass spectrometry and molecular imaging to the study of neuroscience and infectious disease. I am particularly interested in studying disease pathogenesis via lipid and metabolite imaging by mass spectrometry. Additionally, I am applying mass spectrometry imaging to map drug and metabolite distribution into tissues.

    Richard Pyles, PhD

    Richard Pyles, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »
    My research group studies viral and bacterial infections of mucosal cells in the context of human microbiomes. Our research efforts are focused on urogenital, nasal and respiratory mucosae that are first exposure sites for the majority of pathogens using small animal models and novel ex vivo human culture systems. My lab group is also involved in clinical research and trials of novel mucosal delivery devices and probiotics.

    Krishna Rajarathnam, PhD

    Immunology, structural biology, protein engineering
    View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile »
    Chemokine-mediated recruitment of circulating neutrophils to the site of infection forms the first line in host defense. My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which chemokines (such as CXCL8) interact with their GPCR receptors and glycosaminoglycans for orchestrating in vivo neutrophil recruitment in health and disease.

    Ricardo Rajsbaum, PhD
    Adjunct Professor
    Immunology, host-pathogen interactions

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »We study host-pathogen interactions and innate immune responses to viruses. Specifically, we focus on members of the tripartite motif (TRIM) family of E3-ubiquitin ligases, which can have antiviral functions. We hope to identify new innate signaling components and viral proteins that are regulated by ubiquitin and could be targeted for therapeutic intervention.

    Victor Reyes, PhD

    View Department of Pediatrics profile »
    The focus of my research is on regulation of mucosal immune responses. I have been active in characterizing the underlying immune mechanisms during infection of the gastric mucosa with Helicobacter pylori (Hp) and how Hp hijacks regulation of host immunity to establish chronic infection leading to gastric cancer. My lab has also been elucidating mechanisms leading to inflammatory bowel disease, a dysregulated response to normal flora. My research involves the use of cocultures of Hp-infected gastric organoids with human T cells to characterize the responses and deep sequencing of Hp isolates from different gastric disease states.

    Lauren Richardson, PhD

    View Department of OB-Gyn profile »
    My research focuses on bridging the gap between bench-to-bedside research by merging advanced engineering and biology concepts. The goal of my research is to develop novel organ-on-chip devices that physiologically recreate in utero pregnancy-related organs and organ systems. Currently, we are focusing on immune cell regulation during physiologic and pathologic pregnancies.

    Shannon Rossi, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology profile »
    My research interests include elucidating the factors that contribute to persistent arboviral infections, understanding how viruses can cause damage in immune-privileged tissues and developing vaccines to combat arboviral diseases. We primarily focus on flaviviruses (Zika virus), alphaviruses (chikungunya virus) and coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2) and animal model development to address these interests.

    Richard Rupp, MD

    View Sealy Center for Vaccine Development profile »
    Dr. Rupp is the Director of Clinical Trials and Clinical Research and a member of the Executive Committee for the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD). He leads the SCVD Clinical Trials Group, and is a Principal Investigator for clinical trials, Phase I to IV, in both pediatric and adult populations. Vaccines studied have included those protecting against human cytomegalovirus, seasonal, avian and pandemic influenza, pneumococcal disease, human papillomavirus, Dengue, varicella, Herpes simplex 2, and meningococcal disease.

    William Russell, PhD

    View Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology profile »
    Dr. Russell is an Associate Professor, Director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility, and Director, UT System Proteomics Network in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Dr. Russell's interest is in gaining better understanding of the molecular level mechanisms of infection using mass spectrometry-based analysis. To achieve these interests, his team identifies and quantitate metabolites, lipids, proteins, post-translational modifications, and protein complexes.

  • Abha Sahni, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »
    Dr. Abha Sahni’s primary research interests include delineation of interactions between host endothelium and pathogenic bacteria with emphasis on endothelial pathobiology, pathogen entry mechanisms, and pathogenesis of human rickettsioses. Another area of her expertise is the role of fibrinogen and growth factor interactions in inflammation induced cancer growth and metastasis.

    Sanjeev Sahni, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »
    The ongoing research projects in my laboratory are focused on various aspects of spotted fever and typhus group rickettsioses, including activation/subversion of host signaling pathways regulating innate immune responses, apoptosis, autophagy, redox homeostasis, intracellular detection, and vascular inflammation/permeability to understand disease pathogenesis and to identify novel targets for therapeutic interventions.

    Omar Abdul Saldarriaga, DVM, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile
    My main research interest is to use state-of-the-art technology to understand the immunopathologic mechanisms that drive inflammation and progression of sarcoidosis. My primary goal is to utilize the lung and hepatic microenvironments to determine potential treatment targets, enabling precision medicine approaches and targeted therapies for this complex systemic inflammatory disorder. CV

    Catherine Schein, MSc, PhD

    Bacteriology, immunology, pathogenesis, structural biology, vaccine development, vector biology, virology

    View UTMB Researchgate 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.

    Jian Sha, MD, MS

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »My research focuses on studying bacterial pathogens such as Aeromonas, Salmonella, and Yersinia species, particularly host-bacteria interactions and new virulence determinant identifications. I also study brain leukoencephalopathy associated with the mutation of Phospholipase A2-activating protein. We have demonstrated that bacterial products such as cholera toxin and LPS activate PLAA-phospholipase A2 axis that orchestrates production of inflammatory mediators leading to the disease state in the host.

    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.

    Pei-Yong Shi, PhD
    Adjunct Professor

    View Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology profile »
    My research focuses on flavivirus replication, diagnosis, antiviral, and vaccine. We take a multidisciplinary approach (structural, molecular, and chemical biology, and animal model) to unravel disease mechanism and develop countermeasure. Many of our projects are highly collaborative with both academic and pharmaceutical partners around the world.

    Xuan-Zheng “Peter” Shi, MD, MS

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »
    My lab has research interests in gut inflammation and immunity, and the role of gut microbiota in the development of gut dysfunctions and immune impairments.

    Mark P. Simons, PhD, D(ABMM), MSCPH

    Email Dr. Simons »
    Dr. Simons is the director of the Navy Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory and an adjunct member of the IHII. Research interests include interactions/impacts of wound microbial ecology and host immune responses on wound infection clearing and healing, as well as diagnostic assay development, epidemiology of emerging infections and antibiotic resistance, and the public health impact of novel interventions and therapeutics.

    Lynn Soong, MD, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »
    My research focuses on immune regulation and mechanisms of pathogenesis following Orientia or Leishmania infection. Using genetic and immunological approaches, we examine how these intracellular pathogens establish the infection at skin inoculate sites and alter innate or adaptive immune responses, leading to acute tissue damage and persistent infections.

    Heather Stevenson-Lerner, MD, PhD

    View Department of Pathology profile »
    My primary research focus is to determine how dysregulated hepatic immune responses lead to fibrosis development and cirrhosis. We are using multispectral imaging to phenotype hepatic lymphocytes, macrophages, and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells in human liver tissue to determine their role in liver injury and improper wound healing. Our IRB-approved clinical study currently has 99 HCV-infected patients enrolled from which we are collecting blood and liver biopsy samples before and after treatment with the recently developed IFN-free, direct-acting antivirals.

    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. 

    Kaori Terasaki, DVM, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile
    My primary research interest is studying the mechanisms of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) genome packaging and vaccine development. Our research on vaccine development is focused on generating novel single cycle replicable RVFV as safe vaccine candidates.

    Robert Tesh, MD

    Adjunct Professor

    Email Dr. Tesh »

    Tracy Toliver-Kinsky, PhD

    View UTMB Research Expert profile » Current research efforts are focused on the use of a dendritic cell (DC) growth factor, fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand (Flt3L), as a prophylactic treatment after burn injury to enhance immune function and decrease susceptibility to infections. Current projects are investigating the cellular and molecular responses of DCs to Flt3L signaling, and the mechanisms by which DCs enhance neutrophil migratory capacity.

    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.

     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.

    Demidmaa Ravsal Tuvdendorj, MD, PhD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »My research is focused on impaired lipid metabolism and the development or progression of inflammatory processes. Specifically, I am interested in the mechanisms of development of systemic low-grade inflammation in patients with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, who are more susceptible to the development of drug-resistant form of tuberculosis.

    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.

    Kathleen Vincent, MD

    View Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology profile » My research interests revolve around women’s health, particularly reproductive health related to STI/HIV and pregnancy prevention and pelvic floor disorders. I have led efforts to incorporate emerging imaging techniques and the sheep vaginal model for toxicity and pharmacokinetic evaluations. I currently am funded to conduct clinical studies that include microbiome and inflammatory markers to study the use of intravaginal rings to prevent HIV and for medical treatment of urinary incontinence.

    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 collaborations in Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, and Cameroon.

    Hui Wang, PhD

    Immunology, pathogenesis, virology, vaccine development

    My research focuses on the immunotoxicity of environmental pollutants in autoimmune-prone individuals. My current work is to investigate the role and underlying mechanism of the bidirectional relationship between the gut and microbiome, and its impact on liver (gut-liver axis) in autoimmune hepatitis.

    Tian Wang, PhD

    Immunology, pathogenesis, virology, vaccine development

    View Department of Pathology 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.

    Scott Weaver, PhD

    Pathogenesis, structural biology/imaging, vaccine development, vector biology, virology

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology 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.

    Susan Weller, PhD

    View Department of Family Medicine profile » My research focuses on the accurate measurement and representation of human beliefs and behaviors across national and cultural boundaries. Research skills include optimizing data collection by improving the types of questions asked, to improve the reliability and validity of responses and analyzing responses with agreement-based techniques (e.g., the Cultural Consensus Model) as well as nonparametric multivariate scaling and clustering techniques. Current work focuses on beliefs about the common cold and H1N1 flu in the U.S. and Mexico.

    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.


    Courtney Brooke Woolsey, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Non-Tenure Track
    Research focuses on understanding the immunopathology of emerging and re-emerging viruses requiring maximum biocontainment (BSL-4). She employs advanced immunological tools such as spectral cytometry/sorting and spatial biology to dissect natural and vaccine-mediated host immunity to these pathogens. The overall objective is to harness this knowledge to improve medical countermeasures. Her specific interests include 1) generating rapid-acting and durable vaccines against high containment pathogens, 2) characterizing how these vaccines elicit early and sustained protection, and 3) exploring mechanisms of virus persistence and sequelae.

    John E. Wiktorowicz, PhD

    Adjunct Professor

    Ping Wu, MD, PhD

    View Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology profile »I am interested in neural infection, which includes using human neural stem-derived neurons and astrocytes to study the neural effect of various viruses, including HIV, Nippa and Hendra viruses, and Zika virus. I am also interested in studying viral infection of murine neural stem cells during neural development.

    Min Kyung Yi, PhD

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »I am interested in dissecting the mechanisms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication and HCV-induced pathogenesis. My current research interests are focused on the roles of HCV proteins involved in viral replicating organelles generation and virus particle assembly as well as their roles in pathogenesis including hepatic steatosis and fibrosis.

    Qing Yang, MD, MS

    View Department of Microbiology & Immunology profile »The work in my laboratory seeks to understand mechanisms underlying chemotherapy and traumatic injury-induced neuropathy, with a major goal to identify potential therapeutic targets that can be used to effectively treat chemotherapy- and traumatic injury-induced complications. At present, I seek to deconstruct the role of ion channels in spinal cord injury (SCI)-induced secondary degeneration and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) to gain new insight into improved treatment.

    Whitney Yin, MD, PhD

    Antiviral drug toxicity, structural biology/biochemistry

    View Department of Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology profile »My research focuses on antiviral drug toxicity for inhibitors against HIV reverse transcriptase. Our goal is to rational design drugs that are potent and low toxic using combination methods of structural biology, biophysics and molecular biology.

    Subo Yuan MD, PhD 
    Assistant Professor 
    HIV-associated pathological pain and peripheral neuropathy suffered by many millions of HIV-1/AIDS patients. Our current NIH-funded R01 grant on the HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which HIV-1 infection and the co-morbid factors (e.g. drugs of abuse and antiretroviral treatments) cause pain and peripheral neuropathy.

    Zizhen Wu, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    View Department Profile»
    Key words: Mechanotransduction, pain, neuropathy, hearing loss

    My long-term research goals are to understand sensory perception and related disorders, developing new treatment methods. I will focus on identifying molecules involved in mechanotransduction in sensory neurons and defining the plasticity mechanisms in diseases like deafness and mechanical pain.

    Wenbo Zhang, PHD

    View Department Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences profile »
    My research has focused on the study of vascular biology in retinal diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. More recently, I have studied mechanisms of retinal neuronal and vascular injury and retinal neovascularization in ischemic retinopathy. Currently, I plan to bring my expertise in retinal neuronal injury and inflammation to elucidate how and why ZIKV infection causes retinal neuronal damage in collaboration with Dr. Tian Wang, an expert in virology.

    Yingxin Zhao, PhD

    View Department of Internal Medicine profile »My research interest is to use systems biology approach to better understand the innate immune response and to develop novel methodologies for quantitative proteomics profiling and protein posttranslational modification analysis.