Fellows Elected in 2018

 Ahmed Nyaz 120

Niyaz Ahmed, PhD
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Prof. Niyaz Ahmed is the Senior Director of the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in Dhaka and Professor of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics at the University of Hyderabad, India. He was trained as a veterinarian and later on pursued his Masters and PhD degrees in the area of Infectious Diseases. Niyaz Ahmed has supervised 13 PhD students and a dozen post-doctoral scientists were trained in his laboratories. His PhD students and post-doctoral colleagues comprise the research team working on ‘in country epidemiology’ of bacterial pathogens in India and Bangladesh using genomics and microbiota analyses in the context of enteric infections. Niyaz Ahmed was awarded the National Bioscience Award of India in 2013 and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the top most science award of India in 2016. He was also elected as the Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences India, the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and the Royal Society of Biology (UK).


Alexandre Gladys 120

Gladys Alexandre, PhD
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Gladys Alexandre is a Professor in the Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Tenneessee, Knoxville and the director for the Program for Excellence and Equity in Research, which aims at increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups earning PhDs in STEM. Her research focuses on the mechanisms and role of bacterial chemotaxis signal transduction in plant-microbe associations. Her group has characterized mechanisms by which motile bacteria couple metabolism with sensing through chemotaxis receptors, including through novel modification of chemotaxis receptors and how signaling from distinct chemotaxis pathways may be integrated into a single response. She is on the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and the Journal of Bacteriology. She was awarded the 2017 Jack Kenney Award for service on the editorial board of the Journal of Bacteriology.


Allen Lee Ann 120

Lee-Ann Allen, PhD
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Lee-Ann Allen is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases) at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Immunology and Immune-Based Diseases at the University of Iowa and is the current President of the Society for Leukocyte Biology (2018-2019). Dr. Allen has a long-standing interest in the biology of macrophages and neutrophils with a focus on subversion of phagocyte function by bacterial pathogens, including Francisella tularensis and Helicobacter pylori. To this end, her group has discovered new mechanisms of phagocytosis, pathogen trafficking, and NADPH oxidase inhibition. Most recently, her group dicovered a role for F. tularensis lipoproteins in virulence via their effects on neutrophil lifespan, and were the first to show that H. pylori can induce subtype differentiation of human neutrophils.


An Zhiqiang 120

Zhiqiang An, PhD
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX

Zhiqiang An is Professor and Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he directs the Texas Therapeutics Institute. Before returning to academia in 2009, he spent 15 years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, mostly at Merck Research Laboratories, on a wide range of natural products and antibody drug discovery programs. Among his contributions to industrial microbiology, he and his collaborators elucidated the biosynthetic pathway of pneumocandin produced by the fungus Glarea lozoyensis. Pneumocandin is the precursor molecule for the antifungal drug Cancidas. In addition to fungal natural products discovery, his laboratory also studies antibody profiles in animals and humans in response to viral infections and vaccination. He has authored a large body of publications and edited two books, "Handbook of Industrial Mycology" and the “Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies: from Bench to Clinic”.


Balaban Nathalie 120

Nathalie Balaban, PhD
The Racah Institute of Physics, Jerusalem, Israel

Using a biophysical approach, we develop new quantitative tools that are today widely used in microbiology (Balaban NQ, et al. Science 2004; Gefen O. et al, PNAS 2008). The new tools include of novel microfluidic devices for single-cells observations, a design has since been used in many microbiology applications. Another setup based on an array of document scanners and software, “ScanLag”, enables to measure the distribution of lag times and growth rates of single colonies (Levin-Reisman I ., et al. Nature Methods 2010). These tools have enabled us to study in depth the way bacteria can evade antibiotic treatments by diversifying their growth rate. Delayed lag time was shown to evolve rapidly under intermittent antibiotic treatments (Fridman O. et al, Nature 2014), and this phenotype serves a a stepping stone for the rapid development of antibiotic resistance (Levin-Reisman I. et al. Science 2017).  


Barrangou Rodolphe 120

Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Our laboratory focuses on the biology and genetics of CRISPR-Cas immune systems in bacteria. Using microbiology, molecular biology and genomics approaches, we investigate the use of CRISPR-Cas systems for various applications, encompassing: (1) exploiting CRISPR spacer hyper-variability for genotyping and phylogenetic studies; (2) leveraging CRISPR-mediated interference for building up phage resistance in probiotic strains and starter cultures, (3) harnessing Cas-mediated programmable DNA targeting for genome editing in bacteria; (4) co-opting native systems for CRISPR-based self targeting as a potent antimicrobials. These activities provide insights into the genetic and molecular processes that drive CRISPR-mediated adaptive immunity in bacteria, and generate novel tools for the manipulation of industrially relevant organisms for food, Ag, health and biotechnological applications. 
Twitter: @CRISPRlab 


Batista Facundo 120

Facundo Batista, PhD
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA

The CRISPR lab focuses on the biology and genetics of CRISPR-Cas immune systems in bacteria. Using microbiology, molecular biology and genomics approaches, we investigate the use of CRISPR-Cas systems for bacterial genotyping, to build up phage resistance in probiotic strains and starter cultures used in food manufacturing, for genome editing of industrial microbes, and as novel sequence-specific antimicrobial.
Twitter: @CRISPRlab 


Boekhout Teun 120

Teun Boekhout, PhD
Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands

My main research focuses on understanding the functional diversity of pathogenic yeasts, especially those of the Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) species complex, Malassezia, and Candida, as well as closely related non-pathogens. Extensive national and international research collaborations exist in these fields, e.g. in the ISHAM working group on Malassezia and the International Malassezia Research Consortium. Development and evaluation of rapid and reliable diagnostics tools are also important aspects.


Bradford Patricia 120

Patricia Bradford, PhD
Antimicrobial Development Specialists, LLC, Nyack, NY

My research interest includes mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents. The genomes of the species involved Malassezia spp. and Cryptococcus spp., including insect-related and mycoparasitic sister species, and Candida species of the Lodderomyces clade, including human opportunistic Candida species and their insect-related closest relatives are being studied with various partners. A new on-line updatable encyclopedia on the diversity functional aspects is foreseen in the near future.


Brune Andreas 120

Andreas Brune, Dr. rer. nat.
Max-Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany

Andreas Brune is head of the research group Insect Gut Microbiology and Symbiosis at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany. His laboratory studies the gut microbiota of termites, with an emphasis on the bacterial symbionts of their gut flagellates and the ecology and evolution of symbiotic digestion. Important contributions to the field include the concept of termite guts as structured bioreactors with steep gradients of oxygen and other metabolites, characterization of the structure and function of their microbial communities, and isolation of novel, deep-branching lineages of bacteria and archaea. Andreas Brune studied biology in Marburg and Tübingen, where he received his doctorate in 1990. After two postdoctoral years at Michigan State University, he established his own group and habilitated at the Universität Konstanz before he joined the MPI in 2003. He holds an honorary professorship at the Philipps-Universität Marburg.


Buchanan Susan 120

Susan Buchanan, PhD
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Buchanan is Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Section Chief on Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins in the National Institute for Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, at the National Institutes of Health. Research in Dr Buchanan’s laboratory focuses on the structure determination of integral membrane proteins by X-ray crystallography and functional analysis of these proteins using biophysical, biochemical, and cell biological techniques. The Buchanan lab focuses on determining the crystal structures of integral membrane proteins, with a particular interest in TonB-dependent transporters (how pathogens acquire iron) and how they are used by protein toxins to enter cells. This has led to the development of a novel phage therapy reagent against Gram-negative bacteria, as well to an understanding of how Neisseria capture iron from human transferrin during infection.


Burnham Carey Ann 120

Carey-Ann Burnham, PhD
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Carey-Ann Burnham is a Professor of Pathology & Immunology, Pediatrics, Molecular Microbiology, and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the Medical Director of Clinical Microbiology for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Burnham is also the program director for the CPEP Medical and Public Health Microbiology Fellowship at Washington University. Burnham's clinical research program is focused on the development and implementation of new diagnostic methods for infectious diseases. Burnham has published extensively on the implementation and impact of MALDI-TOF MS in clinical microbiology and Burnham was recently a co-editor of the book "The Dark Art of Blood Cultures". Her translational research efforts are focused on the transmission and epidemiology of multi-drug resistant bacteria, with an emphasis on the transmission and epidemiology of Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus. Burnham serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and is the co-editor of the "Medical Microbiology" Question of the Day, a microbiology resources that is used by trainees in microbiology around the globe.


Caliendo Angela 120

Angela Caliendo, MD, PhD
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI

Angela M. Caliendo, MD, PhD is Professor of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her research interests bridge the fields of diagnostics and clinical infectious diseases, focusing on identifying gaps in clinical diagnostics, developing molecular tests to fill these gaps, and establishing the clinical utility of these tests. Initial work evaluated HIV-1 RNA burden and the development of antiretroviral resistance in plasma and cervical secretions of HIV-1 seropositive women in collaboration with Drs. Susan CuUvin and Richard D’Aquila. This led to broader applications of molecular methods in clinical virology, as well as developing and assessing the utility of viral load tests in organ transplantation. More recently the Caliendo laboratory has evaluated approaches to improving the standardization of viral load tests in collaboration with Dr. Randy Hayden. The common theme of her research is improving diagnostics for infectious diseases.


Campbell Elizabeth 120

Elizabeth Campbell, PhD
The Rockefeller University, New York, NY

The bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a target for antibiotics used against pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We use structural and functional approaches to study mycobacteria RNAP to provide insights into the mycobacterial transcription cycle. We have shown that the enzyme exhibits kinetic properties different from the archetypical Escherichia coli RNAP, and that two essential transcription factors which are absent in E. coli, are critical for DNA unwinding at promoters. We have solved the structures of various forms of mycobacteria RNAPs by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM. We continue to dissect the mechanisms of mycobacteria transcription by now asking how the enzyme’s conformations observed in our cryo-EM structures correlate with the kinetic steps of mycobacteria transcription initiation. We are also using the structures as a platform for revealing the detailed interactions between RNAP and inhibitors to facilitate development of treatments against TB.


Casadesus 120

Josep Casadesus, PhD
University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain

Josep Casadesús obtained his PhD at the Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, Granada (Spain), working on Rhizobium under the supervision of José Olivares. As a postdoc, Casadesús received training at the University of Sussex (with Ray Dixon) and the University of Utah (with John Roth). He is currently Professor of Genetics at the University of Seville (Spain). His main research interests are the formation of bacterial lineages by epigenetic mechanisms and the interaction of Salmonella with the animal host. From 2005 to 2010, Casadesús was Ambassador of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in Western Europe.


Cherry Sara 120

Sara Cherry, PhD
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The driving interest in my laboratory has been to develop new systems to discover the cellular factors at the virus-host interface. I pioneered the development of a Drosophila system to study human viral pathogens performing RNAi screens to identify host factors involved in viral infection in vitro. Taking advantage of the genetic tools in flies we define the roles of these genes at the organismal level, and found that many of the human orthologs play conserved roles in higher organisms. These studies have made seminal contributions to our understanding of the cellular factors at this interface including our discovery of new genes in viral entry, and roles for RNA binding proteins in the recognition and restriction of viral RNAs. More recently, we have uncovered new insights into the interplay between metabolic regulation, the microbiota and immune defense. We continue to develop new systems to define mechanisms that shape viral infection and pathogenesis.


Chopra Ashok 120

Ashok Chopra, PhD
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

My research interests during the past two decades have been on identifying virulence factors/mechanisms from several gram-negative bacteria and to demonstrate their role in causing human diseases. Specifically, my group has focused on type 2-, -3, and -6 secretion systems and quorum sensing, and we have used molecular/genomics/proteomics tools to better understand mechanisms of action of the selected virulence factors. Our emphasis is on gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases as well as necrotizing fasciitis with a focus on bacterial-host cell interactions. In addition, we are developing and testing new vaccines and therapeutics against Tier-1 select agents, testing new platforms to display antigens, and developing new therapeutics to combat multi-antibiotic resistant high risk pathogens of significant public health concern. My laboratory has characterized a novel host regulatory molecule which acts as a double-edged sword involved in inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases.


Cowen Leah 120

Leah Cowen, PhD
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Research in the Cowen lab focuses on diverse facets of the biology and evolution of fungal pathogens, which have a staggering impact on human health. These eukaryotic pathogens infect billions of people worldwide and kill in excess of 1.5 million per year, on par with prominent bacterial or protozoan pathogens such as those causing tuberculosis or malaria. Treatment of invasive fungal infections is notoriously difficult, and mortality rates range from 30 to 90%, depending on the pathogen and patient population. Our goal is to address the pressing need for new antifungal drugs through an innovative and interdisciplinary approach that includes chemical genomics, functional genomics, experimental evolution, models of host-pathogen interaction, microbiome analysis of patient populations, and structure-guided drug design.


Crous Pedro 120

Pedro Crous, PhD
Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands

Pedro Crous played a pioneering international role in DNA barcoding of fungi, and organised the "Best Gene for Fungi" meeting, which led the Consortium for Barcoding of Life to accept the ribosomal gene ITS as official DNA barcode for fungi. This in turn paved the way to end dual nomenclature in Fungi, which enabled the community to move to a single name for each fungus. Using names linked to DNA barcodes, he actively chaired subcommittees for the ICTF to revise the lists of genera of plant pathogenic fungi, specifically for Dothideomycetes. He has also been highly influential to revise numerous major families and genera of plant pathogenic Dothideomycetes of crucial importance for trade in agricultural and forestry produce.


Datta Atin 120

Atin Datta, PhD
Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD

Dr. Atin Datta is the Chief of Virulence Mechanisms Branch at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, US Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Datta, a trained bacterial geneticist, devotes his research efforts in solving food safety problems related to foodborne bacterial pathogens including Listeria monocytogenes. He has made significant contributions to the field of detection, molecular characterization and functional genomics of bacterial foodborne pathogens. Dr. Datta’s laboratory provided the first DNA-based method for detection of Listeria monocytogenes from food. His current research involves genomic analyses of outbreak associated Listeria monocytogenes to gain insights for emergence of newer traits and development of control strategies and regulation. Because of his contribution, Dr. Datta has been recognized as one of the leading experts in Listeria and foodborne listeriosis both nationally and internationally. Beside research, Dr. Datta is also involved in supervision of researchers involved in various aspects of microbial food safety research, teaching and training of microbiologists involved in food analysis and mentoring of young researchers.


Dever Thomas 120

Thomas Dever, PhD
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

The Dever lab seeks to elucidate the mechanism and regulation of eukaryotic protein synthesis using genetic, molecular biological, and biochemical approaches. Their accomplishments include identifying the translation initiation factor eIF5B, revealing its 3D structure, and the role of this GTPase in ribosomal subunit joining. In addition, they have characterized the 3D structure and structure-function properties of the GTPase eIF2 and determined its involvement in the human intellectual disability MEHMO syndrome, and they have elucidated the function of the factor eIF5A in promoting translation elongation especially of polyproline motifs. In studies on translational regulation, they have characterized the 3D structure of the protein kinase PKR in complex with its substrate eIF2 and elucidated the mechanism of activation and substrate recognition by PKR, and characterized viral, especially poxvirus, inhibitors of PKR and the interplay between viral inhibitors and PKR evolution.


Dittmer Ulf 120

Ulf Dittmer, PhD
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Ulf Dittmer is the director of the Institute for Virology at the University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany and of the West German Center for Infectious Diseases. His research is focused on immune responses against chronic virus infections, with a special emphasis on retroviral immunity. His goal is to develop novel immunotherapies to overcome viral persistence. The Dittmer lab defined the role of regulatory T cells in chronic infections and developed novel methods for manipulating these cells to improve virus immune control. They are also studying the potency of Interferon alpha subtypes in antiviral immunity.


Duprex W Paul 120

W. Paul Duprex, PhD
Boston University School of Medicine, National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), Boston, MA

Paul Duprex is the Director of the Center for Vaccine Research (CVR) and Jonas Salk Chair for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh. His training at the Pirbright Laboratories focused on foot and mouth disease and rinderpest viruses. He worked for Johnson and Johnson (J&J) as Head of the Department of Emerging Sciences and Technologies at TransForm Pharmaceuticals. His interests in emerging infectious diseases began at Boston University in the NEIDL Institute and continue at the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory in Pittsburgh where he is the Director.

Paul has chaired the Virus Division of the Microbiology Society, is a Senior Editor for mSphere, Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of General Virology and was an Editor for FEMS Microbiological Reviews. He is a member of the European Society of Virology SAB and co-organizes the triennial Negative Strand Virology conference.
Twitter: @10queues


Fidel Paul 120

Paul Fidel, PhD
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry, New Orleans, LA

Dr. Paul Fidel is Associate Dean for Research, Director of the Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology, and Chair of the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Biology at the LSU School of Dentistry. As such he oversees all the research activities in the School of Dentistry as well as the basic science curriculum in the DDS program. Dr. Fidel's laboratory is focused on the pathogenesis of mucosal Candida infections, including vulvovaginal candidiasis and oral candidiasis. His collaborations extend to intra-abdominal fungal-bacterial infection and oral microbiome analyses in HIV disease. The work in vulvovaginal candidiasis has led to paradigm-shifting advances, most notably a unique immunopathogenesis involving polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) dysfunction via heparin sulfate, rather than any innate or adaptive immune deficiencies. Dr. Fidel has >165 publications and has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1994 as PI, including R01, R21, R29, R13, and CoBRE awards.


Fishel Richard

Richard Fishel, PhD
Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH

Utilizing the evolutionary conservation observed between microbes, Dr. Fishel identified the human mismatch repair genes and showed that when altered they caused a variety of cancers. He then developed biochemical, biophysical and single molecule imaging techniques to detail the conserved mechanics of bacterial and human core mismatch repair components and ultimately show how stochastic interactions could captured natural thermal motions to complete DNA repair.


Fox Catherine

Catherine Fox, PhD
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

Dr. Fox and her trainees have made major contributions to understanding the interplay between chromatin structure and DNA replication in eukaryotes. Training the next generation of scientists has always been a high priority for Dr. Fox, as reflected in her dedication to graduate and undergraduate teaching and research training. Dr. Fox has also had a profound impact on the quality of scientific research through her tireless service as a grant reviewer for the NIH and other funding agencies.


Freitag Michael 120

Michael Freitag, PhD
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Michael Freitag is Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University. He earned his PhD at OGI (now part of Oregon Health Sciences University), and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon, investigating the control and function of cytosine DNA methylation in Neurospora. Michael contributed to many fungal genome projects, always focussing on chromatin biology. His lab pioneered chromatin analyses combined with high-throughput sequencing in filamentous fungi, and this comparative approach resulted in contributions to the understanding of centromere chromatin and light regulation. Recently his focus has been on “facultative heterochromatin” that is trimethylated at histone H3 lysine 27. His lab discovered that this is the key chromatin mark separating “accessory” chromosomes from the core chromosomes, and that absence of this histone mark results in widespread reactivation of silent biosynthetic gene clusters and pathogenicity genes in the genus Fusarium.


Garrity George 120

George Garrity, PhD
Michigan State University, Okemos, MI

George Garrity is a Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University and Editor-in-Chief Standards in Genomic Sciences. He is an co-inventor on 81 US and PTC patent applications and has published and lectured widely on drug discovery, laboratory automation, microbial systematics, electronic publishing, and bioinformatics. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, a recipient of the Van Niel International Prize for Studies in Bacterial Systematics, Past President of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and a member of the Board of Directors of the Genomics Standards Consortium. He is the Founder and Managing Member of NamesforLife, LLC, a university spin-off that was formed to commercialize novel text mining, indexing and annotation services for scholarly publishers. Prior to assuming his current position he was a Senior Research Fellow at Merck & Co.


Giedroc David 120

David Giedroc, PhD
Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN

We work on three major projects under a common umbrella we term the biophysical chemistry of infectious disease. Two of these projects comprise the inorganic cell biology at the host-microbial pathogen interface. How cells regulate the intracellular availability of late d-block first row transition metals, from Mn to Zn, so as to avoid off-target toxicity is a subject of long-standing interest in my laboratory. The second major project is focused on hydrogen sulfide homeostasis and detoxification in nosocomial pathogens. Our discovery of a new transcriptional repressor, CstR, as a thiol persulfide sensor, with its unusual thiol chemistry, lead to the identification of new RSS sensors in other bacteria, albeit using distinct molecule scaffolds. We routinely employ NMR, crystallographic, bioinorganic, biophysical and chemical biology methods to elucidate physical pathways of biological regulation in these systems.


Goldman Gustavo 120

Gustavo Goldman, PhD
Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil

I graduated in Biology from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1983), Brazil, and I did my Master Science in Microbiology at the Universidade de São Paulo (1988) and PhD in Molecular Biology at Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Belgium (1994). Subsequently, I did my postdoc at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, USA. I am currently Professor of Molecular Biology at the Universidade de São Paulo. I have experience in Genetics, acting on the following subjects: Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus molecular biology and genetics, nutrient sensing and the response to stress.


Golovkina Tatyana 120

Tatyana Golovkina, PhD
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

The primary goal of Golovkina’s laboratory is to understand how the innate immune system detects viral infection and initiates virus-neutralizing adaptive immune responses.  In addition, she is also interested in mechanisms evolved by viruses to overcome host protective responses.  To investigate these important questions, Golovkina’s lab employ virus-resistant mice capable of controlling retroviruses from distinct genera.  


Grigg Michael

Michael Grigg, PhD
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

My research program investigates the evolution and immunopathogenesis of prevalent protozoan parasites including diplomonads (i.e., Giardia spp.), amoebozoa (i.e., Entamoeba spp.), parabasalids (i.e., Trichomonas spp.), kinetoplastids (i.e., Leishmania spp.), and the apicomplexa (i.e., Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocsytis spp., Cryptosporidia spp.). We perform whole genome sequencing, population genetic, and molecular epidemiology analyses to identify protozoal agents associated with epidemic disease, and we use forward, reverse genetic and GWAS to identify genetic determinants governing virulence shifts among the parasitic protozoa. Our immunopathogenesis work in Toxoplasma has identified parasite effector molecules that activate inflammasome pathways, dysregulate various innate signaling pathways and regulatory T cell function to alter parasite pathogenesis. Our research is contributing valuable insight into parasite-specific molecular strategies of eukaryotic pathogenesis.


Hilbi Hubert 120

Hubert Hilbi, PhD
University of Zurich, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Zürich, Switzerland

Current studies in the laboratory of Dr. Hilbi center on the topics "Virulence and communication of Legionella spp." Ongoing projects focus on (i) the discovery and functional characterization of novel translocated Legionella effector proteins that anchor to host phosphoinositide lipids, activate the small GTPase Ran, inhibit the retromer complex or degrade the chelator phytate, (ii) the role for bacterial intracellular replication of host factors implicated in retrograde trafficking (OCRL, retromer) or ER dynamics (atlastin), (iii) the purification and proteomics of intact Legionella-containing vacuoles from infected macrophages or amoebae, (iv) the identification of novel anti-virulence compounds, and (v) the characterization of the Lqs (Legionella quorum sensing) system and the cognate α-hydroxyketone signaling molecule LAI-1 (Legionella autoinducer-1).


Hu Jianming 120

Jianming Hu, MD, PhD
The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA

Jianming Hu is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Hu and his team revealed the requirement for host cell chaperones in the assembly and reverse transcription of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and developed biochemical reconstitution systems to study these processes. They uncovered sequential phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of HBV capsids and the role of these dynamic events in the progression of viral reverse transcription. They discovered genome-free (empty) HBV virions and demonstrated their potential as a biomarker to guide antiviral therapy. They uncovered important mechanisms of HBV genome persistence. Their research addresses fundamental issues in HBV replication and host interactions and has important implications for developing novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches in pursuit of a cure to clear persistent HBV infection.


Hughes Diarmaid 120

Diarmaid Hughes, PhD
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

The Hughes Group uses genetic methods to explore the evolution of resistance to clinical antibiotics, and the significance of bacterial chromosome organisation. In addition, we are involved (together with chemists, structural biologists, and others) in efforts to discover and develop novel hit compounds with antibacterial activity against Gram-negative pathogens.


Hwang Ingyu 120

Ingyu Hwang, PhD
Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Ingyu Hwang is a Professor of Plant Microbiology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Seoul National University in Republic of Korea. Ingyu Hwang and his team study how quorum sensing plays roles in bacterial social activities. Their goal is to understand bacterial quorum sensing in scopes of genetics, physiology, systems biology, sociobiology, and evolution biology. To accomplish their goals, they have chosen the rice pathogen Burkholderia glumae as a model organism and published seminal papers to demonstrate that quorum sensing functions as metabolic brake in a cooperative bacterial population and can serve as a means to anticipate stationary phase. Currently, his research has focused on how quorum sensing and metabolic networks have coevolved to sustain bacterial social activities.


Jerse Ann

Ann Jerse, PhD
Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD

Ann Jerse is a world leader in the pathogenesis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and gonococcal vaccine development. She developed the only available animal model of genital tract gonococcal infection, which has been adopted in many laboratories worldwide to gain new understanding of gonococcal pathogenic mechanisms, drug resistance, and host immune responses, and is crucial to preclinical vaccine studies. She is a respected authority nationally and internationally, and a sought-after collaborator.

Photo Credit: Uniformed Services University


Jiao Nianzhi 120

Nianzhi Jiao, PhD
State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science at Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

Dr. Jiao is a Fellow of Chinese Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of TWAS. He currently serves as Cheung Kong Chair Professor and Director for the Institute of Microbes and Ecospheres at Xiamen University.
Lab webpage: http://ime.xmu.edu.cn
SCOR WG on the Microbial Carbon Pump (MCP): http://ime.xmu.edu.cn/mcp/eindex.asp
PICES and ICES joint WG on Biological driven carbon pumps http://meetings.pices.int/members/working-groups/wg33
Gordon Research Conference, Initiative of the Permanent Forum on Ocean Biogeochemistry: http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?id=17297


Joye Samantha 120

Samantha Joye, PhD
University of Georgia, Athens, GA

I study microbiology in the ocean. My research consistently addresses significant questions that are significant, risky, and challenge dogma. Hallmarks of my work include developing new methods that permit more accurate quantification of rates of microbial metabolism under in situ conditions and new ways to probe the complexity of natural microbial assemblages. I incorporate new analytical tools, methods and approaches to address the exciting, cutting edge research questions that peak my interest. My work focuses on discovering, understanding, and quantifying the complex, interactive networks of biogeochemical, ecological, and environmental factors that modulate microbial communities and generate microbial population shifts, and control microbial activity and material transformations in the environment under in situ conditions. The novelty of my work derives from its approach, scope, and assured impacts on the field.


Kearns Daniel 120

Daniel Kearns, PhD
Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN

Dr. Kearns’ lab studies the structure, function, and regulation of flagella in the Gram positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis.  His work has made contributions to subpopulation level gene expression, post-transcriptional regulation, structural homeostasis, bacterial cell biology, and functional regulation of nanomachines. 


Keiler Kenneth 120

Kenneth Keiler, PhD
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

The Keiler lab studies how protein quality control is maintained during stress responses and homeostasis by trans-translation and alternative ribosome rescue pathways. Their goal is to characterize the fundamental biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology of ribosome rescue systems, and to use this knowledge to develop antibiotics and tools for basic research.


Kenney Linda 120

Linda Kenney, PhD
University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL

Linda J. Kenney is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Illinois-Chicago, a co-Investigator at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago and a Research Professor at the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore. Her laboratory employs biophysical and super-resolution imaging approaches, including single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), single particle tracking, atomic force microscopy and magnetic tweezers to study signal transduction in E. coli and Salmonella and Salmonella pathogenesis. Her most recent work focuses on developing heterologous host systems for studying and imaging in vivo biofilms of S. Typhimurium and S. Typhi.


Kieft Jeffrey 120

Jeffrey Kieft, PhD
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO

Jeffrey Kieft is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and Director of the Structural Biology and Biophysics Core Facilities at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Kieft has made seminal contributions to understanding how dynamic folded viral RNA elements and their interactions with cellular macromolecules drives important biological processes. His work includes quantitative biochemical and structural analyses of a diverse set of viral RNAs performing unusual and poorly understood functions, including viral internal ribosome entry site (IRESs) such as that from the hepatitis C virus, and other RNA elements that manipulate the RNA translation machinery. His lab has determined the structures of ribonuclease-resistant viral RNAs, revealing a novel mode of RNA maturation. Dr. Kieft's discoveries have enriched understanding of basic molecular processes throughout biology and provided new tools for the study of RNA structure.


Kowalik Timothy

Timothy Kowalik, PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

Timothy Kowalik, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His laboratory studies virus-host interactions using molecular approache and genetic screens. In addition, his group applies population genetics theory to reveal clinically relevant features of viral evolution.

Photo Credit: University of Massachusetts Medical School


Lacy Dana Borden 120

D. Borden Lacy, PhD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Borden Lacy is a Professor in the Departments of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and Biochemistry in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Lacy is interested in the structure and function of bacterial protein toxins and, in recent years, has been focused on understanding the toxins that drive disease symptoms in Clostridium difficile infection. Her group has made contributions to the understanding of toxin three-dimensional structure, host cell receptor interactions, cellular entry, mechanisms of toxin-induced cell death, and mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization.


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Cammie Lesser, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Cammie Lesser is a member of the Infectious Diseases Division and the Brit d’Arbeloff Research Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also an Associate Professor of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunobiology) at Harvard Medical School. She is an active physician-scientist and a graduate of the MD-PhD program at the University of California, San Francisco. Her laboratory has a long-standing interest in bacterial type III secretion systems and technology development, which began during her post-graduate studies at the University of Washington. Seattle. Efforts in her lab have historically been focused on determining how secretion proteins are defined as well as in identifying their mammalian host cell targets. More recently, with support from a NIH Transformative Research Award, work in her lab has begun on developing designer probiotics, equipped with modified type III secretion systems, as novel therapeutic agents.


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T. Jake Liang, MD
National Institutes of Health, Liver Diseases Branch/NIDDK/NIH, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Liang has made groundbreaking discoveries in HBV and HCV pathogenesis and treatment. He is an internationally renowned and dominant thought leader in the field of viral hepatitis with diverse scientific expertise and editorial experience in virology, immunology, cell biology, therapeutics, regenerative medicine and genetics/genomics. He has published over 300 scientific papers with many in high-impact journals, and edited numerous books. Dr. Liang has played many prominent leadership roles in academic medicine. He has been an Associate Editor of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Gut. He was on the Governing Board and a President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. He was a Council member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). He was elected to the ASCI in 1996, the Association of American Physicians in 2002, and the National Academy of Medicine in 2016. His outstanding contributions have been recognized with numerous prestigious awards.


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Shan-Lu Liu, MD, PhD
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Shan-Lu Liu is a Professor in the Center for Retrovirus Research, Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Microbial Infection and Immunity, and Microbiology at The Ohio State University. Dr. Liu serves as Director of the Viruses and Emerging Pathogens Program of the University's Infectious Diseases Institute. Dr. Liu studies viral fusion, entry, cell-to-cell transmission, viral oncogenesis, and host restriction of viral infection. Dr. Liu's research on IFN-induced proteins has contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms of IFITM and TIM proteins to inhibit viral entry and release, respectively. Dr. Liu's research on HIV genetic diversity, recombination, and evolution has provided important insights into our understanding of HIV-host interaction and AIDS pathogenesis. Dr. Liu's research on retroviral Env-mediated malignant cell transformation and dual-fusion trigger has offered unique models for understanding of viral oncogenesis, cell signaling, membrane fusion, and viral entry.


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Carole Long, PhD
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD

Carole A. Long is a leader in the field of malaria immunology. She has made a number of significant and critical contributions to our understanding of protective immunity to malaria, and its implications for vaccine design and development. She was instrumental in design and conduct of malaria vaccine trials. She has been a model for many women scientists, has mentored numerous investigators and was elected to be the President of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


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Michael Lorenz, PhD
McGovern Medical School, Univ. of Texas Health Science Center - Houston, Houston, TX

The fungal pathogen Candida albicans is of great clinical importance, causing 10-12% of all hospital-acquired infections. At the same time, this species is biologically fascinating: it is one of the only fungal components of the normal human microbiome and is not known to have an environmental reservoir. We are protected from most Candida infections by our innate immune system and my laboratory has shown that there is an intricate and complex response to phagocytosis, including transcriptional, metabolic, cell biological, and physiological changes. Central to these is a rapid change to a gluconeogenic metabolism and C. albicans has adapted these pathways to produce advantageous byproducts, such as ammonia, that neutralize the phagosome and promote fungal survival. C. albicans also induces macrophage lysis via pyroptosis and interacts with multiple bacterial components of the microbiome in significan ways. We have a lot left to learn about Candida and other fungal pathogens.


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Paolo Lusso, MD, PhD
Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Lusso is the Chief of the Viral Pathogenesis Section at the LIR, NIAID, NIH. He has pioneered the field of HIV and chemokines with his landmark 1995 discovery that specific chemokines act as potent and specific endogenous inhibitors of HIV. This discovery, which was nominated “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science magazine, has had a long-lasting impact on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention. He has also conducted seminal studies on human herpesviruses, including the discovery of the cellular receptors for HHV-6 and HHV-7. His current research interests include the structure-function relationships in the HIV-1 envelope, with the aim of identifying new molecular targets for therapy and prevention, as well as designing new Env-based immunogens for a protective vaccine. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and a recipient of the Memorial Salzman Award for mentorship in Virology.


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Frank Madeo, PhD
University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Professor Frank Madeo is one of the world’s most-cited scientists in the field of aging. He earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany, in 1997, and led a research group there until 2004, when he joined the faculty of the University of Graz.

Madeo discovered and initiated the field of programmed cell death in yeast and developed most of the techniques for its detection.

His lab has long-standing experience in phenotyping and molecular characterization of the distinct causal metabolites of aging and longevity that are conserved across species. Madeo’s research on longevity-promoting, well-tolerated compounds spans various model organisms, including humans. His recent discovery of the role of spermidine in autophagy induction, cell protection and longevity has pioneered a new and fast-growing area of research.


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Joseph Marcotrigiano, PhD
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Joseph Marcotrigiano is a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Structural Virology Section in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. The Marcotrigiano laboratory performs structural and mechanistic studies on entry, replication, and the innate immune response to infection by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and related, positive-sense RNA viruses. Ongoing work is directed at understanding the precise molecular mechanism(s) responsible for HCV recognition of host cell receptors and the structural changes mediating viral/host cell membrane fusion and subsequent entry. Insights and reagents derived from these efforts are contributing to towards the development of much needed HCV vaccine.


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Paul McCray, MD
University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA

In studies of cystic fibrosis (CF) pathogenesis, McCray discovered that beta-defensin peptides contribute to airway defenses. He identified the human defensin gene clusters and fostered expansion of knowledge in this field. These insights, and those from a novel CF pig model, revealed important deficiencies in airway antimicrobial defenses and host pathogen interactions. This work is informing treatment strategies based on knowledge of airway surface liquid pH and composition. He is a leader in the application of gene-based therapies for lung diseases. He discovered viral envelopes that direct lentivirus vectors to bind and enter airway epithelia and showed that a lentiviral vector carrying the CFTR gene into epithelia can correct the ion transport and host defense defects. His understanding of viral vectors and respiratory viruses led to important discoveries about host-pathogen interactions in the lung, including SARS and MERS-CoVs. 


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Patrick McDermott, PhD
FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, Laurel, MD

Dr. Patrick McDermott is Director of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) at the Food & Drug Administration. NARMS was established in 1996 and is an interagency collaborative effort between the FDA, USDA and CDC that tracks antibiotic resistance in bacteria from retail meats, food producing animals and human clinical cases of infection. He led studies to develop the first standardized antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods for Campylobacter, conducted work to show the impact of antimicrobials in animals, and coordinated the implementation of whole genome sequencing into NARMS national surveillance. His collaborative work aims to understand the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in foodborne microorganisms, how they emerge and spread, and the impact of interventions designed to limit resistance in food animal production. He is a recipient of the FDA’s Francis Kelsey award for excellence and courage in protecting the public health.


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Katherine McMahon, PhD
University of Wisconsin -Madison, Madison, WI

The McMahon Lab studies the water microbiome, focusing on freshwater lakes and wastewater treatment systems. We take a systems-level approach to studying the ecology and evolution of water microbes, to advance our ability to predict and harness their functions. Current areas of interest include forces driving population-level diversification in microbial communities, established and cryptic routes of nutrient cycling, and detailed ecophysiology studies of ultramicro freshwater actinobacteria. We are a diverse group of engineers and scientists with backrounds ranging from civil engineering, to microbiology, to ecology/evolution, to biochemistry. We are fortunate to work at the University of Wisconsin Madison which has a rich history of both environmental microbiology and freshwater science.

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Rajeev Misra, PhD
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Dr. Rajeev Misra is a microbial geneticist who studies how proteins, synthesized in the cytoplasm, are targeted to the bacterial outer membrane. His research focuses on a particular class of outer membrane proteins that form beta-barrels and mediate solute transport and protein assembly. A central component of the assembly machinery is conserved in all Gram-negative bacteria and in mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotes, the two organelles of bacterial origin. A second project in his laboratory examines the mechanism of drug resistance, with an emphasis on the major multi-drug efflux pump system of clinical relevance. His research employs classical genetics and molecular biology approaches to investigate membrane biology and drug resistance.


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Beronda Montgomery, PhD
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Beronda Montgomery pursues a common research theme of understanding how individuals perceive, respond to, and are impacted by the environments in which they exist. Primary research efforts of the Montgomery group are focused on the responses of photosynthetic organisms, including cyanobacteria and plants, to external light cues. Additionally, Montgomery pursues this theme in the context of effective mentoring in research environments and leadership in academia.


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Johan Mouton, MD, PhD
Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands

During my career, my primary interest was and is optimizing antimicrobial therapy, both for the individual patient as well as the population in general. To that end, our lab is focused on experimental work in vitro and in vivo looking at pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antimicrobials. Experimental results are translated to clinical applications using modelling and simulation approaches and validated in patient populations, including relationships between exposure and emergence of resistance. This has led to a reassessment of clinical breakpoints as well as methods to individualize antimicrobial therapy.A particular area of interest is the reassessment of old antibiotics, as little information is available for many of them.


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Bryce Nickels, PhD
Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Bryce Nickels is a Professor of Genetics at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Harvard University and remained at Harvard as a post-doc with Ann Hochschild until beginning his own lab in 2007. His research focus is the study of the mechanism and regulation of bacterial transcription. His lab’s contributions include (i) answering a long-standing question in the field by showing abortive transcription initiation occurs in vivo in bacteria, (ii) opening a new research area by showing 2- to 4-nucleotide RNA products, “nanoRNAs,” function as regulatory small RNAs in bacteria, and (iii) identifying an “ab initio” mechanism of RNA 5'-end capping with nucleoside-containing metabolites such as NAD. His lab is at the forefront in the development of novel deep-sequencing methods for studies of bacterial transcription.


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Michael Niederweis, PhD
University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

Michael Niederweis is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He showed, for the first time, that many of the unusual lipids produced by mycobacteria constitute a second membrane. His scientific work is focused on understanding how the outer membrane of mycobacteria is functionalized. Highlights of his work include the identification of the first mycobacterial outer membrane protein MspA, a channel protein that was used to demonstrate the feasibility of nanopore sequencing of DNA. He also discovered that the C-terminal domain of the outer membrane protein CpnT of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is an NAD+-glycohydrolase which kills host cells by inducing necrotic cell death. This tuberculosis necrotizing toxin (TNT) is the first exotoxin described for Mtb and is its major cytotoxicity factor in macrophages. This discovery changed the long-standing paradigm that Mtb is one of the very few pathogenic bacteria which did not produce secreted toxins.


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Justin Nodwell, PhD
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

All bacteria secrete small organic molecules that have biological activities. Some serve as signals that coordinate group activities, others are toxic to competing organisms and serve to protect the producer and define its niche, still others bind and sequester rare nutrients. Our goal is to understand the biological roles and biochemical activities of these molecules.

Importantly, these molecules are extremely useful as drugs. Our research therefore straddles the line between fundamental questions on the chemical biology of microbial life and the quest for new medicines. This is important both because there is a significant need for new therapeutic approaches to infectious disease – due in part part to the inexorable increase in antibiotic resistance, and for other diseases such as cancer. By harnessing the chemical biology of microbial life therefore, we aim to have an important impact of the development of new, life saving medications.


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Brian Palenik, PhD
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, CA

Dr. Palenik is a Professor of Marine Biology and Education Director of the Ocean Biology Program. He has a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSE from Princeton University. His research includes marine genomics and metagenomics, phytoplankton diversity and evolution, adaptations of phytoplankton to their physical and chemical environments, especially nutrient limitation and metal toxicity and Algal biofuels.


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Jean Patterson, PhD
Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

My laboratory utilizes both BSL2, BSl3 and BSl4 for molecular characterization of animal viruses. We have developed numerous marmoset (NHP) model for a variety of viruses. We are involved with evaluating treatments and vaccines for filoviruses, Lassa fever virus and Zika virus.


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David Perlin, PhD
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Newark, NJ

Dr. David S. Perlin, PhD is Executive Director of the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), a 77-year-old specialized center for infectious diseases at New Jersey Medical School-Rutgers University. He is also Director of the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), an NIH-designated national center for the study of high-threat infectious agents, and a Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Perlin is a highly-accomplished administrator and medical researcher. His research emphasizes studies to diagnose and overcome drug resistant fungal and bacterial infections in high-risk patients, and he is widely regarded as a global leader in antifungal drug resistance and fungal molecular diagnostics. He has published more than 235 papers and book chapters, and has co-authored two books. His laboratory is supported by multiple grants from the NIH, CDC and Pharma and biopharma sectors.


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Sallie Permar, MD, PhD
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Dr. Permar is a physician scientist focusing on the prevention and treatment of neonatal viral infections. She leads a research laboratory investigating immune protection against vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens, namely HIV and cytomegalovirus (CMV), using human cohorts and nonhuman primate models. Dr. Permar has made important contributions to the development of vaccines for prevention of vertical HIV transmission, defining both innate and adaptive immune responses that are associated with protection against infant HIV acquisition. Moreover, Dr. Permar is leading the development of HIV vaccine strategies in maternal/infant nonhuman primate models and clinical vaccine trials in infants. Dr. Permar developed the nonhuman primate model of congenital CMV infection and uses this model for defining the immune correlates of protection against CMV transmission and vaccine development.


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John Peters, PhD
Washington State University, Pullman, WA

John Peters is a Professor and Director of the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University and jointly appointed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a laboratory fellow. His main interests are in electron transfer processes focusing mainly on aspects of hydrogen and nitrogen metabolism and more recently electron bifurcation. The work spans ecology, evolution, physiology, and biochemistry of these systems where the intersection of these approaches have led to important contributions.


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Julie Pfeiffer, PhD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Dr. Julie Pfeiffer is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where she studies RNA virus evolution, dissemination, pathogenesis, and transmission. Her recent interests include examining the impact of intestinal microbiota on enteric virus infections. Her lab has determined that intestinal bacteria promote replication of several enteric viruses and ongoing work is examining mechanisms and consequences of bacteria-virus interactions.


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Lorraine Pillus, PhD
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA

Lorraine Pillus is Professor of Molecular Biology in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. She has been a leader in founding, expanding and sustaining the study of epigenetic processes in yeast. From her early studies that revealed epigenetic transcriptional silencing states to her ongoing research on processes of DNA repair and cellular aging, her work has had a significant impact demonstrating the power of genetic studies in chromatin-based epigenetics in model microbes. In the course of these discoveries, Prof. Pillus has also become a leader in training and mentoring the next generation of scientists and faculty members, with a particularly strong hand in promoting those who are traditionally underrepresented in academic science.


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Vicente Planelles, PhD
University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Vicente Planelles was born in Spain where he completed his BS in Biological Sciences at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (1984). Dr. Planelles then moved to the US, where he completed doctoral work at U. of California, Davis (1991), under the direction of Drs. P. Luciw and N. Haigwood and focusing on SIV. He then pursued his postdoctoral training at U. of California, Los Angeles (1995) in the laboratory of Dr. I. Chen, where he initiated studies on Vpr. He then became Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester (1996-2002) and then Associate Professor at the University of Utah (2002 - present). Since the beginning of his doctoral work, Dr. Planelles has been interested in studying the pathogenesis of human and primate lentiviruses. His laboratory has examined in detail the contributions of the Vpr protein to the pathogenesis of HIV-1 and has identified the mechanisms that lead to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis following HIV-1 infection. In recent years, Dr. Planelles has developed in vivo and ex vivo assays that facilitate latency studies in the laboratory.


Qiu Jianming 120

Jianming Qiu, PhD
University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

Dr. Qiu has become one of the key figures in the field of parvovirus. He discovered the interactions of AAV2 capsid with nucleolin, with heparan sulfate at a high affinity, and with a 150 kDa AAV2-binding protein, the multi-serotype AAV receptor. He co-invented a parvoviral chimeric vector rAAV2/HBoV1 that has a high tropism to human airway epithelia. Dr. Qiu discovered the mechanisms underlying the parvovirus-induced cell cycle arrest and cell death. Dr. Qiu discovered two key mechanisms of parvovirus DNA replication: 1) the cell cycle arrest plays a key role in parvovirus DNA replication in S phase of dividing cells; 2) that the DNA repair mediates parvovirus DNA replication in non-dividing cells. Dr. Qiu has originally established 4 parvoviral infectious clones. Dr. Qiu earned his reputation in characterization of gene transcription profiles of parvoviruses and discovered unique features.


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Reeta Rao, PhD
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

Reeta Rao studies the biology of fungal diseases, particularly those caused by Candida, a species of fungi prevalent in humans, which causes oral thrush, ear infections, and vaginitis, as well as systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals-a leading cause of serious illnesses and death among hospitalized patients. She uses biochemical, molecular-genetic, and genomic tools to study virulence strategies used by Candida and its interaction with the host's immune system to ultimately develop novel therapeutics for fungal diseases, which are notoriously difficult to treat.

Rao is also committed to preparing new generations of scientists with the experience and aptitude for a mission-critical task work force. To reduce attrition during a scientist's undergraduate years, she organizes the "Next-in-BIO" research symposium geared towards keeping young researchers engaged and interested in science. She also champions a skill-based MS degree program designed to provide advanced coursework and laboratory techniques applicable to the biotechnology industry.


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Barbara Robinson-Dunn, PhD
Beaumont Health System, Royal Oak, MI

Barbara Robinson-Dunn is a Professor in the Dept. of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Oakland Univ. Wm. Beaumont School of Medicine, Royal Oak, MI. She has participated as a PI/Co-PI on grants/contracts in excess of $3,011,000. She reported some of the earliest data on the subpopulations of cells responsible for the immune response in murine cryptococcosis, pneumonia due to Legionella feeleii, the isolation and characterization of a new species of Legionella (L. lansingensis) and described the association of Legionnaires Disease with cooling towers in Michigan. In studies on Borrelia burgdorferi, she reported the first person infected by two different strains of this organism. Her current microbiology laboratory is one of the busiest in SE MI. In addition to serving 4 hospitals, she sits on several corporate hospital committees and is involved in teaching at all levels. She has served on several ASM committees, as Chair of Division C and represents ASM on the CDC Acute Bacteria Cmte.


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Eric Rosenberg, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. Rosenberg is a Professor of Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital where he serves as the Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory and is the Editor of the Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital of the New England Journal of Medicine. He is a recognized leader in the immunopathogenesis of acute HIV-1 infection and HIV diagnostics. His work has contributed to our understanding of how the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with acute HIV infection results in preservation of HIV-specific immune responses which may ultimately be important in the immunologic control of virus.


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Samir Saha, PhD
Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh

My research team at Child Health Research Foundation is working endlessly to generate evidence on the impact of these new vaccines in our population to keep policy makers updated with evidence in real time. We are continuing to use our own model to build capacity at each collaborating field site, making those capable of providing quality service to children and generating evidence for policy decisions. We aim to break the vicious cycle that limits the potential of limited resources and convert it to a virtuous cycle by making appropriate use of limited resources, produce evidence, facilitate evidence-based policy decisions, shorten the time lag between evidence and implementation and generate interest for increased and sustained investments in child health.  


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Ribhi Shawar, PhD
Food and Drug Administration, Beltsville, MD

Dr. Ribhi Shawar received his B.S. degree in Microbiology at the American University of Beirut. Subsequently, he obtained his M.Sc. in Medical Parasitology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Ph.D. in microbiology from Southern Methodist University. Dr. Shawar conducted and led a wide range of microbiological investigations applying standard and innovative test methods. He is a strong advocate of product-oriented, expedited approach to testing antimicrobial agents and diagnostic devices in various stages of R&D. Dr.Shawar's professional careers and interests have taken him through a journey that makes him unique among his peers. His services and experiences span areas of clinical microbiology lab, biotechnology industry, pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, and regulatory. He currently serves as branch chief in Microbiology at the FDA where he was instrumental in leading the efforts to initiate the FDA-CDC Antimicrobial Resistance Isolate Bank.


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Donald Sheppard, PhD
McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Dr. Sheppard is a Professor in Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at McGill University, and founding Director of the McGill Interdisciplinary Institute of Infection and Immunity (MI4). He leads the Medical Mycology laboratory and practices clinical infectious diseases at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. His primary clinical area of interest is human fungal disease, particularly invasive aspergillosis in the immunocompromised host. Dr. Sheppard’s research interests focus on elucidating the mechanisms by which the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus causes human disease as a means to develop new therapeutics for these infections. His group has discovered the molecular mechanism by which Aspergillus forms biofilms, and is pursuing antifungal therapies that interfere with this process.


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David Sherman, PhD
Center for Infectious Disease Research, Seattle, WA

David R. Sherman PhD is Associate Director and Professor at the Center for Infectious Disease Research, and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. He earned his BA from UC Berkeley, his PhD in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, and he performed post-graduate work at the Rockefeller University and at Washington University in St. Louis. The Sherman laboratory is deeply interested in gene expression, latency and drug response in the bacterial pathogen M. tuberculosis, and in integrating approaches of systems biology into TB research. Sherman Lab research highlights include contributions to: the discovery and early development of the new anti-TB drug pretomanid; identification of the primary mutation responsible for attenuation of the TB vaccine strain M. bovis BCG; and elaboration of an experimentally-derived genome-scale M. tuberculosis gene regulatory network.


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Pei-Yong Shi, PhD
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Dr. Pei-Yong Shi works on RNA virology and countermeasure development. His unique experience in industry (Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb), public health laboratory (New York State Department of Health), and academia (University of Texas Medical Branch and Yale) allows his work focus on the interface between basic and translational research. He developed the first reverse genetic systems for the epidemic West Nile and Zika viruses; these systems have been used globally to study viral replication and pathogenesis. He discovered RNA methyltransferase of flaviviruses; this discovery has led to a novel approach for vaccine and antiviral development. He developed the first live-attenuated Zika vaccine that has been selected for clinical development. Besides academic excellence, Dr. Shi also has a track record of senior leadership role at leading pharmaceutical company (e.g., Executive Director at Novartis) where he set up antiviral strategies and executed drug discovery and development.


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Lynn Silver, PhD
LL Silver Consulting, LLC, Springfield, NJ

Lynn Silver earned her Ph. D. at Tufts University in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. After postdoctoral work at the University of Geneva and NIH, she joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1982, where she supervised groups in screening for new antibacterials in natural products and chemical collections and collaborated with chemists in improving older antibiotic classes to overcome resistance. Among other accomplishments, she was involved in the discovery of the earliest inhibitors of LpxC (Lipid A deacetylase), the novel antibiotic platencimycin, and participated in the development of ertapenem. Her expertise includes broad knowledge of antibacterial agents, screen design, evaluation of hits and leads, and studies of mechanism of action and resistance. After early retirement from Merck she established an independent consultancy and continued to write on topics of antibacterial discovery and its discontents, including the highly cited “Challenges of Antibacterial Discovery”.


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Holger Sondermann, PhD
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Holger Sondermann is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. Sondermann and his team investigate the molecular mechanisms that control bacterial biofilm formation using a multidisciplinary approach by integrating structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry, and cell biology. A major focus in the Sondermann group centers on the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP, in particular the regulation of enzymes that make and break c-di-GMP and the effector mechanisms that translate cellular c-di-GMP levels into physiological responses. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Vibrio cholerae serve as model systems, enabling comparative studies regarding the conservation and specialization of cell signaling pathways. A related research area focuses on the structural biology of adhesin proteins that are integral components of the biofilm matrix.


Sorek Rotem

Rotem Sorek, PhD
Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Rotem Sorek is a Professor of microbial genomics and systems biology at the Department of Molecular Genetics, the Weizmann Institute of Science. Sorek and his team study the interactions between bacteria and the viruses that infect them (phages). Sorek studies how phages attack bacteria, and how bacteria defend themselves against such attacks. He discovered that phages can use small-molecule communication in order to coordinate their infection dynamics – representing the first discovery of small molecule communication between viruses. His studies also focus on deciphering the molecular mechanisms providing bacteria with protection against phages, collectively known as the "immune system" of bacteria. Specifically, Sorek discovered key mechanisms in the functionality of the CRISPR-Cas system, which is the adaptive immunity system of microbes, as well as reported a large number of new anti-phage defense systems that are widespread in microbial genomes.


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Michael Surette, PhD
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Michael G. Surette is Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, and Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Microbiome Research in the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute and Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University. His group researches the human microbiome of the airways and gut in health and disease. The lab is focused on high throughput culturing and phenotyping methods combined with next-generation sequencing approaches to investigate infectious disease and the microbiome. In addition to understanding fundamental questions about microbiome composition and microbe-microbe/host interactions, the lab also develops methods for accurate rapid microbial profiling that could improve management of disease, and exploiting beneficial properties of human microbiota in preventing and treating disease. Specific diseases researched include cystic fibrosis, asthma, pneumonia, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.


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Georgia Tomaras, PhD
Duke University, Durham, NC

Dr. Georgia D. Tomaras is Professor of Surgery, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University. She is Director of Research for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and Chair of the National Institutes of Health NIAID AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee. Her research program has made fundamental discoveries in identifying immune correlates predicting protective immunity. These discoveries are transformative in revealing immune mechanisms in the polyclonal immune response in favor of the host and away from the pathogen. Her collaborative research identified two antibody correlates of HIV risk and their mechanisms of action. IgG and IgG3 antibodies to a part of the HIV envelope on the second variable region correlated with decreased HIV-1 acquisition risk, and specific envelope IgA antibodies correlated with increased HIV-1 risk. These discoveries have helped to redirect the design of the next HIV vaccine efficacy trials toward harnessing antibody responses coupled with FcR engagement for protective immunity.


Ton That Hung 120

Hung Ton-That, PhD
University of Texas at Houston, Houston, TX

Hung Ton-That is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School . His early work, elucidating the mechanism of sortase-catalyzed cell wall anchoring of surface proteins in Staphylococcus aureus, has pioneered the study of sortase-mediated pilus assembly in Gram-positive bacteria. Work in his laboratory, employing Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Actinomyces oris, and Streptococcus agalactiae as experimental models, has established the biphasic model of pilus assembly, whereby pilus polymerization is catalyzed by a pilus-specific sortase, followed by cell wall anchoring of pilus polymers by the housekeeping sortase. His lab currently focuses on the molecular assembly on the cell surface of Gram-positive pathogens, oxidative protein folding in these monoderms, and virulence mechanisms of Fusobacterium nucleatum – a potential cancer-promoting Gram-negative anaerobe.


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Eva Top, PhD
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Eva Top, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies (IBEST) at the University of Idaho. She received her Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the Ghent University in Belgium in biological engineering and microbial ecology. Her research is focused on the ecology and evolution of multi-drug resistance (MDR) plasmids in bacteria. Since the spread of MDR to human pathogens threatens the treatment of infectious diseases, we need novel therapies that slow down this spread. However, the factors that determine successful transfer and persistence of MDR plasmids are still poorly understood. Her main research questions focus on the mechanisms and dynamics of plasmid-bacteria co-evolution, and how these are affected by biofilm growth. She also studies the diversity and evolutionary history of natural MDR plasmids, and how spreading manure on agricultural land affects the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.


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Renee Tsolis, PhD
University of California at Davis, Davis, CA

Renée Tsolis is a Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Tsolis and her research group study bacterial virulence factors and the interactions that they mediate with the host to develop a niche for infection and promote nutrient acquisition. This work uses two facultative intracellular pathogens, Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium and Brucella abortus, to uncover new interactions between bacteria and host immune cells that result in immunity or disease. A current focus of the laboratory is how host cell physiology, in particular the function of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) , is subverted by these pathogens and how the host senses this disturbance to elicit inflammation. Dr. Tsolis’ group recently identified a new role for innate immune receptors NOD1 and NOD2 in responding to ER stress induced by bacteria, a finding that has implications for inflammatory diseases involving ER stress. 


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Mick Tuite, PhD
University of Kent, Kent, United Kingdom

Mick Tuite is the Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Kent in the UK, an institution he joined in 1983 following postdoctoral research in Oxford (UK) and the University of California, Irvine (USA). Mick began his research on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae whilst a DPhil student under the supervision of Brian Cox in Oxford where he studied the non-Mendelian element [PSI+]. This sparked his long-term research interests in the mechanism and control of translation termination in yeast and the formation and propagation of yeast prion proteins. More recently his research interests have involved exploring various facets of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum. His research group is part of the Kent Fungal Group (www.kentfungalgroup.com) which represents one of the largest collections of fungal researchers in the UK. Mick and his colleagues in the KFG makes use of a variety of yeast systems to approach questions that underpin fundamentals of human disease.


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Laurence Van Melderen, PhD
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Gosselies, Belgium

The Van Melderen lab studies bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems. They are interested in the evolution and diversity of these evolutionary successful modules as well as their biological roles. More recently, they became interested in persistence to antibiotics. By studying this low frequency phenomenon at the single cell level, they aim at better understanding the physiological parameters and molecular mechanisms that differentiate persister cells from sister antibiotic-sensitive cells.


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Jose Vazquez-Boland, DVM, PhD
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Medical School (Biomedical Sciences) & The Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Dr. Jose Vazquez-Boland specialises in microbial pathogenesis. He is Chair of Infectious Diseases in the Biomedical Sciences section, Medical School of the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has been Chair of Microbiology & Immunology at the Animal Health Dept. of the University of Leon (Spain, on leave) and has previously served as a Professor at the Universities of Bristol and Complutense of Madrid. The Vazquez-Boland’s lab investigates the virulence mechanisms of facultative intracellular bacteria. They focus on Listeria monocytogenes, a major foodborne pathogen, and Rhodococcus equi, a pathogenic actinobacterium with a unique plasmid-based transferable host tropism strategy. Special areas of interest are the mechanisms of niche and host adaptation, virulence gene regulation, and intracellular survival and nutrition. Other interests include the genomics of bacterial pathogens and the evolution of virulence.


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Amy Cheng Vollmer, PhD
Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Amy completed her BA (biochemistry) from Rice University and her PhD (biochemistry) from the UIUC. After an immunology post-doc at Stanford, she taught at Mills College for four years. In 1989, she joined the faculty at Swarthmore College, where she teaches courses in microbiology and biotechnology, as well as introductory biology. Her research focuses on bacterial stress response and on the gut microbiome in small animals. In her laboratory, she has mentored nearly 80 undergraduate research students. She has a deep commitment to promoting science literacy and to increasing access to and success in STEM majors to diverse students at Swarthmore. She was the recipient of the Carski Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (2006). She recently elected to serve on the Council for Microbial Sciences and to the ASM's inaugural Board of Directors. She served as president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology from 2007-2017 and is a 2017-2018 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar.


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David Wang, PhD
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

My research has focused on the identification and characterization of novel viruses. As a postdoctoral fellow, I developed the first pan-viral DNA microarray for massively parallel viral detection and novel virus discovery. Subsequently, I developed high throughput sequencing based approaches for virus discovery. Using these approaches, my laboratory has discovered hundreds of novel viruses. We are currently focused on several areas including: (1) defining evolutionarily conserved host factors necessary for virus infection by exploiting the novel C. elegans-orsay virus system; (2) the role of the virome in health and disease; (3) diversity of and immunity to RNA bacteriophage.  


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Jade Wang, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Jue Wang is a Professor of Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her lab investigates how living systems accurately duplicate and process their genetic information, taking a global approach by combining genetic, genomic, biochemical, and computational methods to uncover essential, previously unknown aspects of central dogma regulation. Her primary areas of focus include identifying a molecular interface between the DNA replication machinery and its cellular milieu, understanding the conflicts between replication and transcription, and discovering how evolutionarily divergent bacteria utilize a ubiquitous molecule, (p)ppGpp, for stress resistance.


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K. Eric Wommack, PhD
Delaware Biotechnology Institute, Newark, DE

Direct examination of viruses within natural environments — from estuaries to the deep-sea and soils — has been a hallmark of the advancements from Dr. Wommack’s lab. He has focused on revealing the emergent impacts of viral infection on cellular microbial communities and the ecosystems they inhabit. Dr. Wommack helped establish that viral lysis shapes the flow of carbon and energy through aquatic microbial communities and that viral communities change rapidly within ecosystems. Using metagenomics, Wommack has revealed the enormous diversity and unknown nature of Earth’s viruses. His recent work seeks to predict the phenomic features of unknown viruses via bioinformatic analysis of replication genes within virome data. Emphasizing service to science Wommack served as editor of AEM, and The ISME Journal, and co-editor-in-chief of Microbiome. He is a proud father and husband, an Eagle Scout, a Summa cum laude graduate of Emory University, and a Bobby Jones Fellow, University of St. Andrews, UK.


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Kevin Young, PhD
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

Dr. Kevin Young is a Professor in the Microbiology & Immunology Department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. After obtaining his PhD at the University of Oklahoma, he studied the effects of the ΦX174 lysis protein E with Ry Young (Texas A&M University), after which he worked with Harrison Echols (University of California at Berkeley) on the replication and mutagenesis properties of the alpha subunit of DNA polymerase III in E. coli. His work has focused on the synthesis of bacterial cell walls, first at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and afterwards at UAMS in Arkansas. He is especially interested in the following questions: What proteins and products construct and maintain peptidoglycan? How might these processes be regulated? How does peptidoglycan composition and structure affect bacterial physiology? And, finally, how are these pathways coordinated to determine bacterial cell shape?


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Shaohua Zhao, PhD
Food and Drug Administration/Center for Veterinary Medicine, Laurel, MD

Dr. Zhao is a Senior Biomedical Research Service (SBRS) in the Division of Animal and Food Microbiology, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food & Drug Administration. She serves as a PI for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) retail meat program. Her research interests include: 1) Antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, and emerging resistance genes and their origins, evolution and dissemination; 2) MDR plasmid biology, evolution, epidemiology and dissemination in bacteria from different sources; 3) Advanced molecular subtyping technologies for outbreak investigations, foodborne disease source attribution and molecular epidemiology of MDR foodborne pathogens. She has investigated utility of using whole genome sequencing technology in the NARMS program, which has significantly advanced its surveillance capacity.