Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology
Scientist, Sealy Center for Vaccine Development
MMN, Route 0436
Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology
|PhD | 1993 | University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio|
|BS | 1986 | Hanover College, Indiana|
Overview: Microbiome/mucosal interactions, Herpesvirology; HIV; molecular virology; viral pathogenesis; mucosal innate immunology
I have spent the majority of my career studying the molecular interactions between pathogens and their target cells. I trained in molecular virology and since have applied my experiences to bacteriology and the study of selected human microbiomes and their interaction with mucosal surfaces. Over the last decade I have focused my research efforts on urogenital, nasal and respiratory mucosal surfaces that are first exposure sites for the majority of pathogens using small animal and novel ex vivo human culture systems as models. My lab group is also involved in clinical research and trials of novel mucosal delivery devices helping to power the creation of cryo-repositories of useful materials for our work. Our efforts have produced novel reagents, cell culture and animal models and a solid track record of funding. My research approach has been multi-disciplinary and collaborative allowing the study and comparison of a variety of viral and bacterial pathogens and their associated mucosal sites to identify novel prevention and intervention approaches. Most of my primary research has been focused in women’s health and on protection of the vaginal mucosa against STI pathogens. We have succeeded in developing the first system that allows for the propagation of an intact human microbiome in a refined culture model of the vaginal mucosa. We have leveraged this success and through collaborations have now developed similar culture systems for the penile urethra, alveoli and the nasal mucosae. My approaches are rooted in molecular biology creating a complimentary set of tools that will continue to be refined to enhance our study of efficacy and potential toxicity of candidate interventions and mucosal delivery systems. A selection of relevant publications follows.