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Institute for Molecular Medicine & Infectious Disease Members

  • Carol Artlett, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Inflammasome signaling; IL-1 mediated fibrosis; collagen export from the endoplasmic reticulum; miR-155; small molecule therapeutic development

  • Jane Azizkhan-Clifford, PhD

    Professor and Chair; Associate Dean for Medical Student Research
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: Cellular response to DNA damage, regulation of gene expression, cellular proliferation and the cell cycle.

  • Joris Beld, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Chemical biology and microbiology of secondary metabolism in various organisms

  • Lawrence Bergman, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Malaria, invasion, global gene expression, merozoite, sporozoite, actin-myosin, microarray, Plasmodium

  • Elizabeth Blankenhorn, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Genetic foundations for inherited susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, scleroderma and multiple sclerosis; impact of genetics on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Michael Bouchard, PhD

    Director, Division of Biomedical Science Programs; Professor
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: Hepatitis B virology and hepatic cancer; HBx protein and hepatitis viral replication; calcium signaling and its role in cellular transformation.

  • James M. Burns Jr., PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Development of protective immunity against blood-stage malaria induced by immunization with defined subunit vaccines.

  • Simon Cocklin, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: Macromolecular interaction analysis, HIV-1 replication, strucuture-function relationships, ligand-receptor interactions.

  • Mary Ann Comunale, EdD, MS

    Assistant Professor; Director, Center for Scientific Communications and Outreach
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Scientific: Proteomic and glycoproteomic analysis to identify early markers of disease, analytical and clinical assay development.
    Educational: Innovative learning technologies including gamification and game based learning.

  • Will Dampier, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Exploring patterns of HIV genetic variation, its influences on disease progression and impacts on excision therapy

  • Joshua Earl, MS

    Research Instructor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Statistical comparative analysis of whole bacterial genomes, including gene content/variation and homologous gene transfer, specifically in Moraxella catarrhalis and other naso-pharyngeal pathogens; comparative ecological analysis of human microbial communities and their role in pathogenesis; statistical computing using parallel environments and application development.

  • Garth D. Ehrlich, PhD

    Professor of Microbiology & Immunology; Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology, Otolaryngology
    Research Interests: Use of large-scale comparative genomic technologies to explore the molecular pathogenesis of chronic infectious diseases and the human genetics of susceptibility and resistance to infection.

  • Itzhak Fischer, PhD

    Professor and Chair
    Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy
    Research Interests: Cellular and molecular strategies in promoting regeneration; structure and function of neuronal cytoskeleton

  • Richard Huneke, DVM

    Professor; Executive Director, ULAR
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology

  • Pooja Jain, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy against ATLL induced by the human retroviral infection HTLV-1 as well as against neuroinflammatory diseases induced by infection (HAM/TSP) or inflammation (multiple sclerosis, MS)

  • Stephen Jennings, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Optimal protection from HSV-1 infection provided by interactions between innate and acquired immune responses.

  • Santosh Katiyar, PhD

    Research Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Molecular genetics and antimicrobial therapy of opportunistic fungal infections, with major emphasis on molecular mechanisms of antifungal drug resistance

  • Hangjun Ke, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Development of novel antimalarial drugs that can overcome the drug-resistance problems of antimalarial chemotherapy

  • Zafar Khan, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Transgenic and humanized mouse modeling of neuroinflammation; target-based high-throughput screening (HTS) and pre-clinical studies on development of novel antiviral molecules with focus on mechanism(s) of action; INDO-US collaborative program under the Center for International Translational Medicine of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease (IMMID)

  • Sandhya Kortagere, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Biased signaling of dopamine D3 receptor agonists; developing symptomatic and disease-modifying therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease; etiology of mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease; role of dopamine receptors in neurocognitive impairment in HIV and other neuronal infections

  • Fred Krebs, PhD

    Associate Professor; Co-director, Interdisciplinary and Career-Oriented Programs
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: HIV-1 immunopathogenesis and neuropathogenesis, plasma medicine (biomedical applications of non-thermal plasma)

  • Kirsten Larson, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Development of educational activities, flipped classroom experiences and peer evaluation

  • Patrick Loll, PhD

    Professor
    Department: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
    Research Interests: X-ray crystallography and protein biophysics; integral membrane protein structure; antibiotic resistance; mechanism of anesthetic action; protein homeostasis.

  • Julio Martin-Garcia, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Macrophage tropism and neurotropism of HIV-1; cellular senescence during HIV-1 infection and HIV-1 neuropathogenesis; innate immune responses to HIV-1 infection in macrophages, microglia and dendritic cells; microRNAs and HIV-1

  • Michael Mather, PhD

    Research Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Physiology of malaria parasites, especially mitochondrial functions and energy metabolism

  • Joshua Chang Mell, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Using genomics to investigate the mechanism, consequences and evolution of genetic recombination, especially in pathogenic bacteria.

  • Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD

    Professor & Chair
    Department: Pharmacology & Physiology
    Research Interests: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and drug abuse, chemokine-based therapeutics, neuroprotective pathways in neuroinflammation

  • Joanne Morrisey

    Research Instructor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology

  • Sonia Navas-Martin, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Innate immunity, toll-like receptors, neuroimmunology, neuroinflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, blood brain barrier, microglia, astrocytes, neurons, macrophages, viral encephlalitis, demyelination, molecular pathogenesis of neurotropic RNA viruses, cellular senesce, microRNAs, animal models, therapeutic targets

  • Michael Nonnemacher, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: HIV-1 genetic variation in disease progression; role of viral accessory proteins in pathogenesis; impact of HIV-1 and drugs of abuse on the blood-brain barrier

  • Pamela Norton, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Characterization of glycoproteomic biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma, induction of novel immune responses by agents that alter N-glycan processing

  • Shendra Passic, MS

    Research Instructor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Variation in HIV-1 genetic and immune markers during disease progression; HIV-1 drug development and microbicides

  • Vanessa Pirrone, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Impact of HIV infection on colorectal cancer, and the role of the HIV-1 Nef protein; impact of age and HIV/HCV coinfection on HIV-1 replication, pathogenesis and immune activation profiles

  • Richard Rest, PhD

    Professor Emeritus
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis and Bacillus anthracis

  • Donna Russo, PhD

    Professor; Senior Associate Dean for Curriculum; William Maul Measey Chair in Medical Education
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Senior associate dean of the medical school curriculum; department thread director for microbiology

  • Laura Steel, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Disruptions to metabolic homeostasis in hepatitis B virus–infected hepatocytes; development of RNA silencing–based therapies for HBV

  • Sandra Urdaneta-Hartmann, MD, PhD, MBA

    Associate Professor
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Game-based learning and other emerging learning technologies in higher education; industry trends and market analysis within biomedical higher education

  • Akhil Vaidya, PhD

    Professor; Director, Center for Molecular Parasitology
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Understanding basic molecular functioning of malaria parasites with a view to developing new antimalarial drugs.

  • Brian Wigdahl, PhD

    Professor and Chair, Microbiology and Immunology; Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease
    Department: Microbiology & Immunology
    Research Interests: Immunopathogenesis and neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 and HTLV-I infection; transcriptional regulation of retroviral expression; viral sequence diversity and correlations to disease; development of microbicidal agents

Students walking down the hall at the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at Drexel University College of Medicine.