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  1. Deborah Fowell, Microbiology & Immunology

    Deborah Fowell

    Title: Professor, Chair
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential MFF (REU) Host

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Bacteria, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Veterinary/Clinical Research, Viruses

    We are actively engaged in defining the signals that enable effector T cells to ‘find’ areas of infection and damage within inflamed tissues. We utilize intravital multiphoton microscopy and optogenetic tools to visualize and manipulate effector CD4+ T cells in situ. These approaches have revealed extrinsic control of effector CD4+ T cell movement; with roles for chemokines in regulating accumulation and activation at inflamed sites, and roles for T cell integrins in promoting interactions with the extracellular matrix for guided movement. Intrinsic programming of effector CD4+ T cell subsets sets distinct thresholds for sensitivity to these extrinsic cues. By identifying key parameters for T cell effector activity in the inflamed dermis we aim to inform new inflammation-specific therapies.

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  2. Kelley Gallagher

    Title: Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential MFF (REU) Host

    Research Areas: Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection

    The Gallagher lab studies the regulation of steps in the bacterial life cycle through sporulation in the soil-dwelling genus Streptomyces. Students will delete and overexpress genes that are predicted to regulate development and examine resulting phenotypes to identify novel regulatory mechanisms of bacterial development. This work will build student skills in molecular genetics.

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  3. Amandine Gamble

    Title: Assistant Professor
    Department: Public & Ecosystem Health

    Roles: Faculty Investigator

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Bacteria, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Microbiota and Microbiomes, Veterinary/Clinical Research

    I investigate what drives hosts’ contributing to pathogen dynamics across biological scales, from host-pathogen molecular interactions to host species interactions. To do so, I combine theoretical, observational, and experimental approaches, and consider various study systems in the lab and in the field, including emerging bat-borne viruses and their hosts, and bacterial pathogens of endangered seabirds. I collaborate with stakeholders to translate scientific outputs into sustainable, targeted solutions against pathogen threats, with the focus on ecological interventions.

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  4. Megan Greischar

    Megan Greischar

    Title: Assistant Professor
    Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential Undergraduate Mentor

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Microbiota and Microbiomes

    Parasite life history strategies within the host, especially the timing of replication and transmission, influence disease severity and spread. I study how subtle differences in ecology within and outside the host can generate dramatic differences in parasite strategies. My research program uses two major approaches:

    1. Building ecologically-detailed models to ask when and why particular strategies would be favored
    2. Developing novel statistical approaches to better characterize parasite traits from existing data

    Read more about Megan Greischar
  5. Ann Hajek, Entomology

    Ann Hajek

    Title: Professor
    Department: Entomology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Microbiota and Microbiomes, Viruses

    Emphasis is on pathogens and symbionts of invertebrates, predominantly focusing on interactions between microbes and insect hosts, many of which are invasive species. Subjects covered are broad, ranging from population biology, immune responses, basic biologies of pathogens, interactions between hosts and pathogens and epizootiology to use microbes for control of insect pests.

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  6. Laura Harrington, Entomolgy

    Laura Harrington

    Title: Professor
    Department: Entomology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential Postdoc Mentor, Potential Undergraduate Mentor

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Viruses

    My research focuses on the biology, ecology and behavior of mosquitoes that transmit human diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus and malaria. I have developed methods for studying blood feeding patterns, survival and longevity, mating behavior and feeding behavior of mosquitoes in both the laboratory and field. I am additionally interested in evaluating mating competition and fitness of transgenic mosquitoes prior to field deployment. We also work on tick ecology and control including work with the Lyme disease vector I. scapularis and the invasive Asian Longhorned tick H. longicornis.

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  7. Maria Harrison, Boyce Thomspon Institute

    Maria Harrison

    Title: William H. Crocker Professor
    Department: Boyce-Thompson Institute, Plant Pathology and Plant- Microbe Biology (adjunct)

    Roles: Faculty Investigator

    Research Areas: Agriculture Research, Fungi, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Microbiota and Microbiomes, Plant Hosts

    Most flowering plants develop mutualistic symbioses with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to improve access to essential mineral nutrients. The fungal endosymbionts are housed in membrane-bound compartments within root cells. Our research combines genetic, genomic and cell biology approaches to dissect the plant and fungal cellular programs for establishment and regulation of AM symbiosis, and mechanisms of symbiotic phosphate transport.

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  8. C. Drew Harvell, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

    C Drew Harvell

    Title: Professor Emeritus
    Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Microbiota and Microbiomes, Veterinary/Clinical Research

    We study the transmission and impacts of infectious disease in a changing ocean and mechanisms of immune function in marine invertebrates. We work to identify the value of intact ocean biodiversity and develop strategies towards a healthier ocean.

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  9. Anthony Hay

    Title: Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential MFF (REU) Host

    Research Areas: Animal Hosts, Bacteria, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Plant Hosts, Veterinary/Clinical Research

    The Hay lab uses methods from microbial ecology, physiology, genomics, and genetics to understand how human activities affect microbes in diverse environmental settings. For instance, we study how handling of milk collection kits affects the microbiome of pumped human milk. Students will use genomics to characterize the metabolic potential of bacteria isolated from this work.  

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  10. Michelle Heck, Boyce Thompson Institute

    Michelle Heck

    Title: Associate Professor
    Department: Boyce-Thompson Institute, Plant Pathology and Plant- Microbe Biology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential MFF (REU) Host, Potential Undergraduate Mentor

    Research Areas: Agriculture Research, Animal Hosts, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Microbiota and Microbiomes, Plant Hosts, Viruses

    Our research uses a combination of molecular, genetic, and proteomics approaches to understand how insects transmit plant pathogens and how pathogens manipulate host plants to ensure replication and transmission. For instance, students will characterize the transmission rates of viruses by different genotypes of aphids in lab experiments, to understand disease spread in agriculture.  

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