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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Microbiology & Infectious Disease

biology department

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Image Credit: Williams Lab - SIV-infected macrophages comprise lesions in the frontal cortex of an SIV-infected rhesus macaque that developed AIDS with SIV-associated encephalitis.

Work in Microbiology and Infectious Disease in the department spans a variety of experimental systems, including virus-host interactions, bacterial genetics and microbial systems, cellular parasitology and fungal genetics.

Thomas Chiles, Ph.D.
Investigations into the metabolic pathways and signaling transduction underlying B cell growth responses to antigen challenge. Cell cycle control of peritoneal B-1a cells, including hyperproliferative responses.

Marc-Jan Gubbels, Ph.D.
Host cell invasion is at the heart of apicomplexan parasite pathogenesis. We use Toxoplasma gondii as a genetically tractable model to dissect this process. In addition we are analyzing the internal budding of daughter parasites during T. gondii cell division. Identification of key players in processes unique to the biology of Apicomplexa (invasion and division) is the first step towards development of more effective therapeutic options.

Charles Hoffman, Ph.D.
Investigations into fungal glucose/cAMP signaling using the genetically pliable fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.This nutrient sensing pathway is homologous to those of fungal pathogens that regulate dimorphic growth and host tissue invasion in response to their nutrient environment.

Welkin Johnson, Ph.D.
Retroviruses; Primate lentiviruses (HIV and SIV); Co-evolution of viruses and their hosts

Michelle Meyer, Ph.D.
Computational biology, non-coding RNA discovery and validation, molecular evolution, RNA and protein structure

Babak Momeni, Ph.D.
Systems biology of microbial communities; mathematical modeling of biological systems; microbial ecology

Junona Moroianu, Ph.D.
Study of the nuclear import pathways of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) proteins and genomes during the viral infection and the transformation process leading to cervical cancer.

Tim van Opijnen, Ph.D.
Microbial Systems Biology; drug/gene interaction networks and the development of new antimicrobials, the development of genome-wide next generation sequencing strategies to link genotypes to phenotypes, and the engineering of bacteria with new traits and novel applicability.

Kenneth Williams, Ph.D.
Central nervous system macrophages, neuroAIDS, AIDS pathogenesis, monocyte/macrophage biology.