Getahun Abate, M.D., Ph.D.

Getahun Abate studies mycobacterium, including tuberculosis (TB) and nontuberculosis mycobacterium. He is active in developing novel anti-TB drugs, repurposing clinically used drugs to enhance existing TB therapy, and developing reliable and rapid tests for drug resistance. He also studies methods to enhance TB lung immunity by combining BCG vaccination with recombinant adenovirus expressing chemokines in the lung.

Keywords:Lung Disease, Tuberculosis



James Brien, PhD

James Brien studies arthropod-borne viruses (arbovirues), which account for 40% of pathogenic viruses, and a major source of infectious disease. His lab studies mechanisms that control immune recognition of these viruses well studying the role of antibodies in protection and exacerbation of viral infection. He is an expert at generating cellular and animal models of viral infection.

Keywords:Lung Disease TuberculosisVirology, Dengue, Chikungunya, West Nile, Zika, COVID-19

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Feng Cao, Ph.D.

Feng Cao, Ph.D., is a clinical microbiologist for the VA hospital. She has established rapid, standardized screening assays for a large set of clinically relevant, drug resistant pathogenic bacteria. She collaborates SLU researchers to perform primary and indirect drug screens against this spectrum of bacteria, while focusing on the top five bacteria of critical interest to the WHO.

Keywords:High Throughput screening, bacterial pathogens


Robin Chamberland

Robin Chamberland studies antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus, a relatively common commensal bacterium that causes opportunistic infections with growing drug resistance. She also studies bacterial toxins and their interaction with the host innate immune system. She focuses on the setting of S. aureus necrotizing pneumonia.

Keywords:Pnemonia, bacterial resistance



Maureen Donlin, Ph.D.

Marueen Donlin studies how the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans regulates and remodels its cell wall in response to immune stress and anti-fungal therapies. A second arm of her research utilizes this knowledge to identify novel small molecules that can inhibit growth of the fungus and potentially be developed into new anti-fungal therapies.

Keywords:Anti-Fungal Therapies, Drug Screening

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Sarah George, M.D.

Sarah George studies viral infectious diseases, particularly dengue and flaviviruses. She has developed potential diagnostics for measures of dengue immunity, and determined the epitopes and cellular correlates of strong dengue immunity. Sarah has also lead clinical trials for vaccines and therapeutics to many pathogens, most recently SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords:Flavivirus, Dengue, Zika, COVID-19

Duane Grandgenett, Ph.D.

Duane Grandgenett has provided foundational understandings of retroviral integrases leading to therapies for HIV. His continuing structural studies of integrase and its viral DNA substrates are vital to understand treatment mechanisms and prevent development of drug-resistance in HIV and other retroviuses.

Keywords:HIV, Structural Biology, Retrovirus Integrase

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David Griggs, Ph.D

David Griggs applies his medicinal chemistry expertise across a wide range of collaborative translational efforts in organ fibrosis, bone disorders, and infectious diseases. He is an expert in target validation, assay development (HTS), and lead optimization through both in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetics. Some of his own discoveries on integrins and organ fibrosis have been licensesed to Indalo Therapeutics, which he helped found.

Keywords:Organ Fibrosis, Tuberculosis, High-throughput Assays

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Dan Hoft, M.D., Ph.D.

Dan Hoft studies the immune response to multiple intracellular pathogens including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Trypanosoma cruzi. As Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at SLU, he has also contributed extensively to the development of multiple vaccines including generating SLU held IP for a universal FLU vaccine, and development of a multi-omics core for studying vaccine responses.

Keywords:Tuberculosis, Influenza, Immunoinformatics


Lynda Morrison, Ph.D.

Lynda Morrison leads a lab focused on prevention and treatments for herpes simplex virus (HSV). Her expertise in the role of viral tegument proteins in pathogenesis and immune evasion has contributed to the understanding of herpes virology, and led to the discovery of new potential therapies for HSV infection, some of which have been licensed to Casterbridge Pharmaceuticals.

Keywords:Herpes, Retroviral Treatments, Drug Discovery

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Amelia Pinto, Ph.D.

The Pinto lab develops innovative tools and small animal models to understand the host immune response to numerous arbovirus and respiratory viral infections. The discoveries they make in cytokine regulation of infection help direct development of new vaccines, anti-virals and anti-inflammatories to these global threats.

Keywords:Viral Sepsis, Abrovirus, Vaccine Development

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John Tavis, Ph.D.

John Tavis studies the role of viral RNaseH in promoting viral infection and replication, with a focus on studying Hepatitis B. John has translated his work into the discovery of novel molecules for treatment of HBV which has been licensed to Casterbridge pharmaceuticals which he helped found. He has also advised other companies on the development of in vitro and in vivo viral infection models for drug discovery.

Keywords:Hepatitis, Retroviral Treatment, Small Molecule Screening

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