Global Biothreats and Emerging Infectious Diseases
Emerging infectious diseases can be defined as infectious diseases that have newly appeared in a population or have previously existed but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range. Biodefense pathogens are those that pose a risk to national security and/or public health, as defined by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID’s) list of category A, B, or C priority pathogens.
Research related to these urgent health threats encompasses a broad spectrum of themes, including investigations of pathogenicity and host responses, vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic technologies.
The following interdisciplinary faculty conduct research and instruct fellows in this area:
Genetic approaches, cellular and molecular biology of intracellular pathogen infection
Cellular and molecular mechanisms of Neisserial pathogenesis
Mobile technologies to improve adherence to HIV medications in rural populations.
Drug Discovery and Molecular Biology of Pathogenic RNA viruses: Ebola, SARS-CoV-2, Influenza and Zika
Structure and Function of Bacterial Toxins: Roles in Microbial Pathogenesis and Uses in Biomedical Research
Molecular diagnostics, Tuberculosis, Global Health
Biodefense and emerging pathogens
Physical mechanisms of infectious disease; influenza infection; membrane fusion; antibiotic resistance; molecular dynamics simulation; machine learning.
Bacterial cell signaling, host-pathogen interactions, intestinal pathogens
Pathogenicity of Francisella tularensis and vaccines
Human intestinal parasitology
Host-pathogen interactions; molecular parasitology; mucosal inflammation; immunopathology and repair. Our research interests evolved from studying a parasite that causes inflammation of the gut, similar to IBD.
Immune mechanisms of defense against COVID-19 and enteric (diarrheal) infections
Enteric diseases, molecular diagnostics and infectious disease epidemiology.
Iron-uptake mechanisms and Virulence Factors of Francisella tularensis; Microbial Pathogenesis
Biomembrane Structure and Function; Cell Entry of Enveloped Viruses; Neurosecretion by Exocytosis; Structure of Bacterial Pathogen Membrane Proteins; Lipid-Protein Interactions
Molecular diagnostics; Polio eradication; tracking immunity and virus shedding after oral polio vaccination in resource-challenged countries.