Pathogens, Vaccines & Immunity Faculty

Learn more about this group by contacting Dr. Wendy Watford (watfordw@uga.edu).

The goal of the Pathogens, Vaccines, & 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, therapeutics, novel vaccines and other medical countermeasures, including antibiotics, antivirals, small interfering molecules and detection/diagnostic devices for the protection of human and animal health against infectious diseases and cancer.

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Fikri Avci

Associate 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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Adam W. Barb

Associate Professor
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Our goal is to define the impact of protein post-translational modifications on structure and function in the immune system.

Website

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Melinda Brindley

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Arenavirus glycoprotein structure and function; virus entry and membrane fusion; emerging virus-host interactions. Functional characterization of viral glycoproteins and 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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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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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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 Ankita Garg

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

Immunopathogenesis of intracellular pathogens (HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis); non-infectious morbidities in People Living With HIV

Website

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Travis Glenn

Associate Professor
Bioinformatics; Toxicology

Environmental Genomics; Crocodilians; Reptilian Genomics; Molecular Ecology.

Website

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Hitesh Handa

Associate Professor
Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences

Translational research in biomaterials (antifouling, antiplatelet, antibacterial, and antiviral) for tissue engineering and medical device applications

Website

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Donald Harn

Professor
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
GRA Distinguished Investigator
Infectious Diseases

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

Website

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Jeff Hogan

Professor
Infectious Diseases
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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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Chester Joyner

Assistant Professor
Infectious Diseases

All facets of host-parasite interactions during malaria, ranging from molecular pathogenesis to malaria immunology to transmission

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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Samarchith Kurup

Assistant Professor
Cellular Biology

Basic immunology of the liver and blood stages of malaria

Website

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Eric Lafontaine

Professor
ILS Graduate Coordinator
Infectious Diseases

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

Website

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Xiaorong Lin

Professor
Microbiology; Plant Biology

Human fungal pathogens, sexual reproduction and development in fungal pathogenesis

Website

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Catherine M. Logue

Professor
Microbiology

A bacterial pathogenesis/food safety lab that specializes in the detection and characterization of pathogens from food animal sources that impact human and animal health.

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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Aaron P. Mitchell

Professor
Microbiology

We use genetic and genomic approaches to understand mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis and drug resistance.

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 Professor
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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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

Associate 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

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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Balazs Rada

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Role of reactive oxygen species in host-microbe interactions of the respiratory mucosa,
neutrophil biology, pathomechanism of Pseudomonas infection in cystic fibrosis.

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 ecology; ecology and evolution of infectious diseases;
evolutionary dynamics; 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

Christine Szymanski

Christine Szymanski

Professor
Microbiology

Microbial glycobiology lab characterizing bacterial glycoconjugate pathways, bacteriophage interactions with their hosts, and benefits of human milk oligosaccharides to develop novel vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention of diarrheal diseases and post-infectious neuropathies such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

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

Professor
Infectious Diseases; Toxicology

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

UGA Foundation 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; Toxicology

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

Associate Professor
Infectious Diseases

Regulation of host defense and tolerance by Stat transcription factors.

Website

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Robert Woods

Professor
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Immunological carbohydrate-protein interactions studied by computational simulation and experimental methods.

Website

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Jin Xie

Associate Professor
Chemistry

Nanoparticle-based imaging and drug delivery; radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy

Website