Dr. Blanton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine – Division of Infectious Diseases. He attended medical school at UTMB, completed his internal medicine residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina, and returned to UTMB to pursue fellowship training in infectious diseases. He is active in the clinical practice of infectious diseases – treating HIV and general infectious diseases in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. He has a special clinical interest in vector-borne diseases, and his research is focused on the the study of tick- and flea-borne rickettsioses. While practicing at UTMB, Dr. Blanton helped recognize the reemergence of murine typhus in Galveston – a disease that had apparently disappeared from the area since the late 1940s. He has since worked to characterize the ecology of the reservoirs and vectors of Rickettsia typhi on the island. His research has also included field work for the collection of ticks; characterization of pathogens from ticks; studies to investigate rickettsial cross protection; and serosurveys to assess human exposure to various rickettsial pathogens. While active in research and clinical practice, Dr. Blanton enjoys contributing to the education of medical students, residents, and fellows at UTMB.