Pathogens & Immunity Faculty

Learn more about this group by contacting Dr. Wendy Watford ( 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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Photo of Fikri Avci
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.

Photo of Maor Bar-Peled
Maor Bar-Peled
Associate Professor Plant Biology

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

Photo of Melinda Brindley
Melinda Brindley
Assistant Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Don Champagne
Don Champagne
Associate Professor Entomology

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

Photo of Harry W. Dickerson
Harry W. Dickerson
Professor Infectious Diseases

Comparative Immunology; molecular parasitology.

Photo of Roberto Docampo
Roberto Docampo
Professor Cellular Biology

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

Photo of Ronald D. Etheridge
Ronald D. Etheridge
Assistant Professor Cellular Biology

Toxoplasma’s Strategies to Manipulate Host Immunity

Photo of Vanessa Ezenwa
Vanessa Ezenwa
Associate Professor Infectious Diseases
Photo of Jonathan G. Frye
Jonathan G. 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.

Photo of Travis C. Glenn
Travis C. Glenn
Associate Professor Bioinformatics; Toxciology

Environmental Genomics; Crocodilians; Reptilian Genomics; Molecular Ecology.

Photo of Andreas Handel
Andreas Handel
Assistant Professor Bioinformatics

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

Photo of Donald Harn
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.

Photo of Eric T. Harvill
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.

Photo of Biao He
Biao He
Professor and GRA Distinguished Investigator Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Mary Hondalus
Mary Hondalus
Associate Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Tim Hoover
Tim Hoover
Professor Microbiology

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

Photo of Ray Kaplan
Ray Kaplan
Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Anna Karls
Anna Karls
Associate Professor Microbiology

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

Photo of Russell Karls
Russell Karls
Associate Research Scientist Infectious Diseases
Photo of Kim Klonowski
Kim Klonowski
Assistant Professor Cellular Biology

Development and regulation of immunological memory.

Photo of Eric Lafontaine
Eric Lafontaine
Associate Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Rob Maier
Rob Maier
Professor Microbiology

Physiology and metallobiology of pathogenic bacteria.

Photo of Nancy Manley
Nancy Manley
Distinguished Research Professor Genetics

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

Photo of Kojo Mensa-Wilmot
Kojo Mensa-Wilmot
Professor Cellular Biology

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


Photo of Cory Momany
Cory Momany
Associate Professor Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences

Antibiotic drug discovery targeting RNA polymerase regulation; X-ray crystallography of non-coding RNA and prokaryotic transcriptional regulators

Photo of Michelle Momany
Michelle Momany
Professor Plant Biology

Cellular and molecular biology of polar growth in fungi.

Photo of Julie Moore
Julie Moore
Professor Infectious Diseases

Human and animal model-based studies of host immune mechanisms in malaria during pregnancy and immunopathogenic mechanisms that lead to compromise of pregnancy.

Photo of Andy Moorhead
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.

Photo of Silvia Moreno
Silvia Moreno
Professor Cellular Biology

Cell biology and biochemistry of the human pathogen Toxoplasma gondii searching for potential targets for chemotherapy.

Photo of Jarrod J. 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.

Photo of Vasant Muralidharan
Vasant Muralidharan
Assistant Professor Cellular Biology

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

Photo of Courtney C. Murdock
Courtney C. 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.

Photo of Karen Norris
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

Photo of Andrew Park
Andrew Park
Assistant Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Scott Pegan
Scott Pegan
Associate Professor Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences

Antiviral and nerve agent poisoning therapeutic discovery, assay development, enzymology, structural biology, regulation of innate immune responses

Photo of David S. Peterson
David S. Peterson
Associate Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Fred Quinn
Fred Quinn
Professor Infectious Diseases

Tuberculosis pathogenesis; host-pathogen interactions.

Photo of Ted Ross
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.

Photo of Robert Sabatini
Robert Sabatini
Associate Professor Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

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

Photo of Susan Sanchez
Susan Sanchez
Professor Infectious Diseases

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

Photo of Vincent Starai
Vincent Starai
Assistant Professor Infectious Diseases; Microbiology

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

Photo of Mike Strand
Mike Strand
Distinguished Research Professor Entomology

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

Photo of Rick Tarleton
Rick Tarleton
Professor Cellular Biology

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

Photo of Michael Terns
Michael Terns
Distinguished Research Professor Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Genetics; Microbiology

Newly discovered immune systems found in bacteria and archaea; mechanisms of viral defense and prevention of the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.

Photo of S. Mark Tompkins
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.

Photo of M. 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

Photo of Ralph A. Tripp
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.

Photo of Kevin Vogel
Kevin Vogel
Assistant Professor Entomology

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

Photo of Wendy Watford
Wendy Watford
Assistant Professor Infectious Diseases

Regulation of host defense and tolerance by Stat transcription factors.

Photo of Adrian Wolstenholme
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.

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