Pathogens & Immunity Faculty

Learn more about this group by contacting Dr. Wendy Watford (watfordw@uga.edu) or visiting the Pathogens & Immunity website.

The goal of the Pathogens & Immunity group is to advance understanding of host-pathogen interactions and have a direct impact on human and animal health through translational research. We intensively study the biology of viral, bacterial, protozoal and helminth pathogens and how they interact with their hosts at the molecular, cellular and systems levels, particularly with regard to pathogenesis and immunity. This knowledge is applied to the development of diagnostics, prophylactics and therapeutics for disease control.

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Fikri Avci

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Mechanisms of immune activation by carbohydrate antigens; design and development
of knowledge-based vaccines and therapeutics against pathogens and cancers.
Website

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Maor Bar-Peled

Associate Professor
Plant Biology

Molecular cell biology of the wall, Biofuel and BioEnergy, Golgi as model for System biology, Plant Immunity.

Website

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Melinda Brindley

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

Arenavirus glycoprotein structure and function; virus entry and membrane fusion; emerging virus-host interactions.

Website

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Don Champagne

Associate Professor
Entomology

Role of arthropod salivary factors in pathogen transmission and immune responses in their vertebrate hosts.

Website

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Harry Dickerson

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Comparative Immunology; molecular parasitology.

Website

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Roberto Docampo

Professor
Cellular Biology

Cellular and molecular biology of acidocalcisomes; the role of polyphosphate in trypanosomatids.

Website

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Ronald D. Etheridge

Assistant Professor
Cellular Biology

Toxoplasma’s Strategies to Manipulate Host Immunity

Website

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Vanessa Ezenwa

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Environmental Genomics; Crocodilians; Reptilian Genomics; Molecular Ecology.

Website

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Jonathan Frye

Research Microbiologist
Microbiology

We investigate the development and spread of antimicrobial resistant Salmonella,
which is the most prevalent foodborne bacterial illness in the U.S.

Website

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Travis Glenn

Associate Professor
Bioinformatics; Toxciology

Environmental Genomics; Crocodilians; Reptilian Genomics; Molecular Ecology.

Website

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Andreas Handel

Assistant Professor
Bioinformatics

My research focuses on mathematical and computational modeling of within-host
and between-host infectious disease dynamics.

Website

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Donald Harn

Professor and GRA Distinguished Investigator
Infectious Diseases

Mechanistic analysis of parasite induced immune suppression. Translational research
on immuno-modulation pertaining to inflammation based diseases.
Vaccine development and trials.

Website

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Eric T. Harvill

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Interactions between microbial pathogens and host immunity in the
mouse model using bacteria that naturally infect mice and
closely related strains that are important human pathogens.

Website

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Biao He

Professor and GRA Distinguished Investigator
Infectious Diseases

Paramyxovirus-host interactions, vaccine development, emerging paramyxovirus and onocylytic virus.

Website

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Mary Hondalus

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Mechanisms of bacterial virulence and survival in the host; host-pathogen interactions;
vaccine development.

Website

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Tim Hoover

Professor
Microbiology

Gene regulation in bacteria; regulation of flagellar biogenesis; control of RpoN-dependent transcription in bacteria.

Website

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Ray Kaplan

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Biology, molecular mechanisms, and population genetics of anthelmintic resistance in
parasitic nematodes

Website

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Anna Karls

Associate Professor
Microbiology

Mechanisms for microbial adaptation and virulence; specialized
DNA recombination in Neisseria meningitidis & N. gonorrhoeae;
sigma54 regulon in Salmonella Typhimurium.

Website

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Russell Karls

Associate Research Scientist
Infectious Diseases
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Kim Klonowski

Assistant Professor
Cellular Biology

Development and regulation of immunological memory.

Website

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Eric Lafontaine

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Bacterial pathogenesis; role of adhesins in virulence; vaccine development.

Website

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Rob Maier

Professor
Microbiology

Physiology and metallobiology of pathogenic bacteria.

Website

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Nancy Manley

Distinguished Research Professor
Genetics

Evolution, organogenesis, and function of the thymus and parathyroids.

Website

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Kojo Mensa-Wilmot

Professor
Cellular Biology

Cell Signaling, Organelle Biogenesis, and Drug Discovery in Trypanosomes.

Website

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Cory Momany

Associate Professor
Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences

X-ray crystallography of macromolecules, prokaryotic transcriptional regulators.

Website

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Michelle Momany

Professor
Plant Biology

Cellular and molecular biology of polar growth in fungi.

Website

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Andy Moorhead

Assistant Research Scientist
Infectious Diseases

Establishment of the parasite/host niche by filarial worms, specifically Brugia malayi, one of the causative agents of lymphatic filariasis.

Website

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Silvia Moreno

Professor
Cellular Biology

Metabolism and drug development against protozoan parasites.
Calcium signaling and storage in Toxoplasma gondii.

Website

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Jarrod Mousa

Jarrod J. Mousa

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

Human antibody-mediated immunity to inform next-generation
vaccine development; focus on immunity to major viral, bacterial,
and fungal human pathogens using multidisciplinary approaches in
immunology, structural biology,and biochemistry to study
antibody-antigen interactions at the molecular level.

Website

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Vasant Muralidharan

Assistant Professor
Cellular Biology

Molecular and cellular biology of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

Website

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Courtney Murdock

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

We use ecological and evolutionary theory to study mosquito-parasite interactions,
ecological drivers of transmission, and how environmental change affects transmission.

Website

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Karen Norris

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Vaccine dev for prevention of PCP and COPD, RSV infection, COPD; Immune Activation
and Aging, PAH; Immune-mediated mechanisms of pathogenesis, Type 2 diabetes and
metabolic syndrome, therapeutic testing; chronic immune activation/inflammation.

Website

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Andrew Park

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

Transient evolution of pathogens. Evolutionary processes involved in cross-species transmission. Evolutionary constraints in viral epidemiology.

Website

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Scott Pegan

Associate Professor
Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences

Antibiotic & antiviral drug discovery, assay development, enzymology,
and structural biology, regulation of innate immune responses.

Website

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David Peterson

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Characterization of adhesion proteins which mediate host-parasite interactions in Plasmodium falciparum.

Website

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Fred Quinn

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Tuberculosis pathogenesis; host-pathogen interactions.

Website

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Ted Ross

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Dr. Ross explores new vaccine technologies for seasonal and pandemic influenza
as well as West Nile Virus, Dengue Chikungunya, Ebola, and HIV.

Website

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Robert Sabatini

Professor
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Molecular and biochemical parasitology: DNA modification, homologous recombination
and the regulation of antigenic variation in Trypanosoma brucei.

Website

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Liliana Salvador

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases; Bioinformatics

Computational biology; ecology and evolution of infectious diseases;
phylodynamics; animal movement.

Website

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Susan Sanchez

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Veterinary diagnostics; emerging clinical problems; antibiotic resistance;
epidemiology of diseases with special emphasis in zoonoses.

Website

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Vincent Starai

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases; Microbiology

Bacterial modulation of eukaryotic membrane dynamics for intracellular survival;
SNARE-dependent membrane fusion biochemistry.

Website

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Mike Strand

Distinguished Research Professor
Entomology

Molecular and evolutionary biology of insect parasites; virology, immunology, symbiont evolution, reproduction.

Website

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Eva-Maria Strauch

Assistant Professor
Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences

Protein design and engineering, design of anti-virals and immunogens,
protein chemistry and re-purposing of viral surface proteins,
computational biology

Website

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Rick Tarleton

Professor
Cellular Biology

Mechanisms of immunity and disease in Trypanosoma cruzi infection (Chagas Disease); Basic and applied biology of T. cruzi.

Website

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Michael Terns

Distinguished Research Professor
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Genetics; Microbiology

We study CRISPR-Cas immune systems that protect prokaryotes from viruses and provide
powerful research tools for important biotechnology and biomedical applications.

Website

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S. Mark Tompkins

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases; Toxciology

Transmission and pathogenicity of zoonotic influenza virus infection and development
of vaccination and the prevention and treatment of viral infections.

Website

Professor Stephen Trent

M. Stephen Trent

Distinguished Professor
Infectious Diseases

Characterizing the assembly of bacterial surface structures, Development of vaccines for viral
and bacterial pathogens, Systems approaches to understanding microbial diseases

Website

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Ralph A. Tripp

Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Chair in Vaccine and Therapeutic Studies
Infectious Diseases; Toxciology

Disease intervention strategies for important human pathogens and emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin;
mechanisms of immunity; virus-host interface.

Website

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Kevin Vogel

Assistant Professor
Entomology

Integrating physiology, genomics, evolution, and microbial symbiosis to understand the biology of insect vectors of disease.

Website

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Wendy Watford

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

Regulation of host defense and tolerance by Stat transcription factors.

Website

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Adrian Wolstenholme

Professor
Infectious Diseases

Molecular helminthology: in particular the interactions of
anthelmintic drugs with ion channels in the nervous systems
of parasitic helminths, and the molecular basis of drug resistance.

Website

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