Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology
Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology specialization concentrates
on the study of host-pathogen interactions at the molecular and cellular levels.
Faculty research programs focus on how microorganisms interact with surfaces,
how they survive inside and outside of their hosts, how signals are relayed
between the microorganism and the host, and
how the host responds to these
Faculty in this area study host-parasite interactions to identify the molecular
mechanisms responsible for disease, elucidate the functioning of the host's
immune response, examine genetic mechanisms that underlie signal transduction,
identify and elucidate the genomic content of pathogens, and explore fundamental
properties of viruses. The novelty of this specialization is that students can
use bacterial, fungal or viral platforms to study the pathogenic mechanisms that
lead to disease and the mechanisms preventing disease in plant and/or animal
The requirements for Ph. D. students in the Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis
and Immunology specialization are designed to ensure that students receive a
broad background in Cell Biology, Molecular Genetics, and Microbiology, plus
advanced training in their area of research. Our primary aim is to help students
develop not only the technical laboratory skills, but also the critical thinking
skills necessary for a rewarding career as an independent scientist. All M.S.
and Ph.D. students in Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology follow
the first year program required of all CBMG graduate students, including core
courses and laboratory rotations. The student's advisory committee, in
consultation with the student and his/her research advisor, will design a course
of study tailored to the student's research plan and career objectives. This
program will include formal courses, opportunities for critical discussion of
the scientific literature through seminar courses and journal clubs, and
interactions with the advisory committee. Recent Ph.D. students in Microbiology,
Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology have readily obtained post-doctoral
appointments at prestigious research universities, tenure-track teaching
positions, positions at various government agencies, and jobs with Biotechnology
Graduate Courses in Microbiology,
Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology
Biology I, Structure and Function (Song)
Biology II, Signal Transduction (Kwak)
Gene Expression (Dinman)
in Microscopy (Wolniak)
and Host Defense (Mosser & Frauwirth)
Pathogenesis (Briken, Gao, Lee & McIver)
Program Course (Fredericksen)
Journal Clubs: Protein Translation (Dinman); Host Pathogen Interactions
(Mosser); Virology (Fredericksen)
Faculty in Microbiology, Microbial
Pathogenesis and Immunology
Norma Andrews, Professor and Chairman
Ph.D. University of Sao Paulo, Brazil 1983. Molecular strategies used by
intracellular pathogens to subvert host cell function, and membrane traffic
events involved in the repair of injured plasma membrane.
George Bean, Emeritus Professor
Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1963. Plant pathology; occurrence, development
and control of mycotoxins.
Spencer Benson, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1976. Cancer biology and
Volker Briken, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Paris (France), 1998. Molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen
interactions and their importance for the virulence of Mycobacterium
James Culver, Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Biosystems
Ph.D. University of California, Riverside 1991. Molecular plant-virus
interactions; virion assembly, replication, and long-distance movement of
tobacco mosaic virus.
Charles F. Delwiche, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990. Molecular systematics, phylogeny,
and evolution of chloroplasts.
Jeffrey DeStefano, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Connecticut, 1990. Mechanism of retroviral reverse
transcriptases as it relates toreplication and recombination.
Najib El-Sayed, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Yale University School of Medicine, 1993. Biology of parasitismand
host-pathogen interactions using genomic approaches with the ultimate goal of
better understanding infection and survival mechanisms.
Kenneth Frauwirth, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California-Berkeley. T cell activation and peripheral
tolerance mechanisms; regulation of lymphocyte metabolism.
Eric O. Freed, Adjunct Associate Professor,
Chief, Virus-Cell Interaction Section-NIH
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990. Molecular biology of HIV-1
replication; retrovirus assembly and release.
Brenda L. Fredericksen, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Tennessee Health Science Center-1997. Viral-hostinteractions,
Defining the molecular mechanism(s) by which flaviviruses evade and/or block the
host innate antiviral response, Molecular and cellular mechanisms of
pathogenesis of flaviviruses, Model systems include West Nile virus, Kunjin and
Lian-Yong Gao, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, 1999. Molecular genetics; molecular mechanisms of
bacterial pathogenesis; molecular biology of bacterial toxins essential for
Steven W. Hutcheson, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of California Berkeley, 1982. Molecular plant pathology;
molecular biology of Pseudomonas parasitism; role and regulation of Type III
protein secretion systems; pathogenicity and non host plant resistance.
Sam W. Joseph, Emeritus Professor
Ph.D. St. John's University (New York), 1970. Bacterial toxins; mechanisms of
virulence; emerging causes of human gastroenteritis; chromosomal and extra
chromosomal factors related to bacterial pathogenesis.
Vincent Lee, Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California - Los Angles, 2000. Host-pathogen interactions,
Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Allosteric
regulation of molecular complexes.
Kevin S. McIver, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Tennessee Sciences Center, 1994. Host-Bacterial pathogen
interactions; Molecular mechanisms of virulence gene regulation in Streptococcus
pyogenes; Protein secretion in Francisella tularensis.
David Mosser, Professor
Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1983. Cell and molecularbiology of
macrophages and dendritic cells; regulation of cytokine gene expression; host
defense response to intracellular pathogens.
Anne Simon, Professor
Ph.D. Indiana University, 1983. Molecular biology of plant-virus interactions.
Wenxia Song, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Kansas State University, 1991. Antigen transport and signal transduction
functions of the B cell antigen receptor.
Daniel C. Stein, Professor
Ph.D. University of Rochester, 1981. Molecular genetics; virulence mechanisms of
pathogenic bacteria; Characterization of DNA Restriction and Modification
Richard Stewart, Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1984. Molecular biology of sensory systems and
motility in bacteria.
David Straney, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Yale University, 1987. Fungal molecular biology, host recognition in the
induction of pathogenicity genes and development.
Ronald M. Weiner, Emeritus Professor
Ph.D. Iowa State University, 1970. Marine bacteriology; molecular biology and
morphogenesis of thermalvent budding bacteria; establishment of submerged marine