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  1. Daniel Klessig, Boyce Thompson Institute

    Daniel Klessig

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

    Our research is focused on understanding how plants protect themselves against microbial pathogens at molecular and cellular levels. Major goals are to determine the mechanisms of salicylic acid (SA) activation and regulation of the plant’s immune responses, and to identify new targets or aspirin (acetyl SA) and its major metabolite SA in humans.

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  2. Brian Lazzaro

    Title: CIHMID Director, Professor
    Department: Entomology/Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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

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

    My lab group studies insect-pathogen interactions, using opportunistic bacterial infection in the model host Drosophila. For instance, students may measure pathogen proliferation when the host is provided with diets that vary in quality. Specific methods include microbiology and molecular biology, as well as genetic manipulations of the pathogen and host.

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  3. Gabrielle Le-Bury

    Title: CIHMID Postdoctoral Fellow

    Roles: CIHMID Postdoc

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

    Macrophages are susceptible to HIV-1 infection and are resistant to virally-induced cell death. Alveolar macrophages (AM) in particular are known to be extremely long-lived and self-renewing, and have been shown to be both permissive to HIV-1 infection and persist in the face of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) suppression. Indeed, they have been found to express HIV-1 RNA in virally-suppressed individuals. During HIV infection, the human lung becomes hyper-susceptible to Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTIs) such as tuberculosis (TB), the major cause of death of those living with HIV. To better understand how HIV infection impairs human lung immunity, we use single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) approaches to analyze the host transcriptional profiling of macrophage populations from HIV-1 infected individuals who are ART-suppressed and those that are ART-naïve. This project exploits recent technological advances to address considerable gaps in our appreciation of the significance of the alveolar macrophage as a haven for persistent HIV infection that is resistant to ART, and their role in the impairment of lung immunity.

    Read more about Gabrielle Le-Bury
  4. Cynthia Leifer, Immunology

    Cynthia Leifer

    Title: Associate Professor
    Department: Immunology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential Postdoc Mentor

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

    The Leifer lab investigates how the immune system detects and initiates inflammatory responses to microbes. We focus on innate immune macrophages and the regulatory mechanisms that control inflammation through Toll-like receptors (TLRs).

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  5. Gregory Martin

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

    Roles: Faculty Investigator

    Research Areas: Agriculture Research, Bacteria, Disease Ecology and Evolution, Genetics, Genomics and Cell Biology of Infection, Plant Hosts

    The Martin lab studies the molecular bases of bacterial infection processes and the plant immune system. Our research focuses on speck disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. We use diverse experimental methods in biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, forward and reverse genetics, genomics, molecular biology, plant pathology, and structural biology.

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  6. Scott McArt, Entomology

    Scott McArt

    Title: Assistant Professor
    Department: Entomology

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

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

    We study how pathogens influence pollinator health. Students collect data on plant-pollinator visitation networks, pathogen prevalence in bees and at flowers, pathogen replication and impacts on host survival, or conduct manipulative experiments to understand transmission parameters. The overall goal of our work is to improve disease transmission and spillover models for pollinator communities.

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  7. Philipp Messer, Biological Statistics and Computational Biology

    Philipp Messer

    Title: Associate Professor
    Department: Computational Biology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator

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

    Research in my group focuses on the population genetics of rapid evolution, using a combination of experimental and modeling approaches. We are particularly interested in human-induced examples of rapid evolution, like the evolution of pesticide and drug resistance. We also study the possibility of population-scale genetic engineering by CRISPR-based gene drives, which promise powerful applications in the fight against vector-borne diseases, such as malaria.

    Read more about Philipp Messer
  8. Andrew Moeller, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

    Andrew Moeller

    Title: Assistant Professor
    Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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

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

    We study the evolution of vertebrate gut microbes. Our work focuses on the co-evolutionary histories of animals and their microbiota using a combination of omics approaches, gnotobiotic experiments, and field studies. Students will gain experience in anaerobic bacterial culturing, genome sequencing workflows, and comparative genomics bioinformatics analyses.

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  9. Corrie Moreau, Entomology, and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

    Corrie Moreau

    Title: Professor
    Department: Entomology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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

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

    The Moreau lab focuses on the symbiotic factors that drive evolutionary diversification in ants. One example question is whether seed-eating ants have distinct gut microbiomes to facilitate their use of this food source. Students will characterize the gut microbiomes of ant species using 16S amplicon sequencing and bioinformatics analyses, and gain skills in community ecology and evolution.

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  10. Courtney Murdock

    Courtney Murdock

    Title: Associate Professor
    Department: Entomology

    Roles: Faculty Investigator, Potential Postdoc Mentor

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

    A main driver of vector-borne disease transmission is the ecology of the insect vector. Changes in climate and land use alter ecological relationships insect vectors have with their hosts and pathogens, resulting in shifts in transmission. The research in the Murdock lab applies ecological and evolutionary theory to better understand the host-vector-pathogen interaction, key environmental drivers of transmission, and how environmental change will affect vector-borne disease transmission and control.

    Read more about Courtney Murdock