Research Areas and Labs

The Center for Global Infectious Disease Research's members have expertise in a wide spectrum of specialties including adolescent medicine, virology and bacteriology. Their projects aim to make discoveries and implement new solutions to help children and their parents avoid and recover from infections.

Aderem Lab

Alan AderemScientists in the Aderem Lab are studying innate responses to HIV, tuberculosis, influenza and other pathogens that significantly impact global health. Research areas of focus include systems biology, tuberculosis, big data, computational biology, genomics, proteomics, host-pathogen interaction, infectious disease, OMICS, predictive analytics and immunology.

Aitchison Lab

John AitchisonThe Aitchison Lab focuses on the development and application of systems biology approaches to infectious diseases. Research areas of focus include malaria, HIV/AIDS, biotechnology, genetic engineering, global health, big data, computational biology, genomics, proteomics, OMICS, predictive analytics, data analysis, immunology and influenza.

Bull Lab

Marta BullMarta Bull's lab interests combine her background in HIV immunology and phylogenetic population studies to study how immune responses to chronic co-infections (e.g., herpes simplex two, HSV-2) promotes HIV persistence in the mucosa, and how these responses may pose a barrier to an HIV cure. Her research focuses on the study of virology, specifically viral persistence and reservoirs, as well as viral drug resistance.

Frenkel Lab

Lisa FrenkelThe Frenkel Lab focuses on key questions related to HIV. The lab aims to: understand the mechanisms that allow HIV to persist during antiretroviral therapy; develop practical, affordable tests to detect drug-resistant HIV; make insights into reservoirs of drug-resistant HIV and illuminate the pathogenesis of HIV-related diseases. Research areas of focus include viral treatment, transmission and dissemination; viral persistence and reservoirs; and viral drug resistance.

Grundner Lab

Christoph GrundnerThe Grundner Lab seeks to map the signaling pathways that underliethe adaptability and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Research areas of focus include infectious disease, systems biology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, drug resistance, global health, host-pathogen interaction, genetics and immunology.

Harrington Lab

Whitney HarringtonThe Harrington Lab focuses on intergenerational immune interactions and their effect on susceptibility to infection during pregnancy and infection. In particular, we investigate the role of maternal microchimerism (maternal cells acquired by the fetus in utero) in fetal and infant immune development, early vaccine response and susceptibility to infection, including malaria and HIV.

Hernandez Lab

Rafael HernandezThe Hernandez Lab uses a combination of genetics, molecular biology, cell culture models and animal models to probe the interactions between mycobacterial pathogens and host immune cells. The lab’s goal is to make insights that lead to new strategies to improve the efficacy and shorten the duration of antibiotic regimens for mycobacterial infections. 

Jaspan Lab

Heather JaspanHeather Jaspan's lab seeks to: identify correlates of HIV risk at mucosal surfaces, namely the infant gut and the adolescent genital tract; study the role of the commensal bacteria at these mucosal surfaces in modulating immunity; understand immunity of infants born to HIV-infected mothers, who are uninfected yet have high morbidity and mortality; identify vaccination strategies that reduce HIV infection; and improve infectious morbidities in these vulnerable HIV-exposed infants. Research areas of focus include virology and bacteriology, specifically viral immunology, mucosal virome and mucosal microbiota.

Kappe Lab

Stefan KappeThe Kappe Lab is focused on understanding the complex biology of the malaria parasite and the immune responses to infection, using this information to design transformational interventions that will help win the fight against malaria. Research areas of focus include cell and molecular biology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, drug resistance, systems biology, global health, host-pathogen interaction, immunology, infectious disease, vaccine development and genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) strains for vaccination.

Kaushansky Lab

Alexis KaushanskyThe Kaushansky Lab works with the pathogens of infectious diseases like malaria that infect hundreds of millions of people every year. Research areas of focus include malaria host-parasite interaction; host-based drug discovery; cross-pathogen studies and co-infections; global health; immunology and infectious disease.

Myler Lab

Peter MylerThe Myler Lab uses cutting-edge genomic, bioinformatic and molecular approaches to study gene function and protein structure in a variety of infectious disease organisms. Research areas of focus include Leishmania, systems biology, global health, structural genomics, infectious disease and trypanosomiasis.

Parsons Lab

Marilyn ParsonsThe Parsons Lab works on two infectious diseases that are especially prevalent in low-income populations of the world: human African trypanosomiasis (also known as African sleeping sickness) and toxoplasmosis. Research areas of focus include HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika, systems biology, global health, genomics, virology, genetics, infectious disease and OMICS.

Rajagopal Lab

Lakshmi Rajagopal 70x70The Rajagopal Lab utilizes genetic, molecular, biochemical and proteomic approaches to study infectious diseases caused by bacteria. The lab focuses on the human pathogens group B Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus. Research areas of focus include bacteriology, specifically bacterial pathogenesis, bacterial virulence and animal models of human disease.

Sather Lab

Noah SatherThe Sather Lab studies the interactions between invading pathogens and the host immune system, with the goal of leveraging these discoveries toward the development of novel vaccines and vaccination regimens. Research areas of focus include systems biology, genetic engineering, global health, genetics, host-pathogen interaction, infectious disease and immunology.

Sherman Lab

David ShermanThe Sherman Lab is focused on developing novel drugs, diagnostics and vaccines to combat tuberculosis. Research areas of focus include systems biology, drug discovery, pathogenesis, gene expression, drug resistance, global health, big data, computational biology, genomics, host-pathogen interaction and immunology.

Smith Lab

Joe SmithThe Smith Lab studies the biology of the Plasmodium malaria parasite during the blood stage. The main research interests of the lab are to characterize parasite-host binding interactions and to better understand malaria disease mechanisms. Research areas of focus include systems biology, global health, infectious disease and immunology.

Sodora Lab

Donald SodoraWork in the Sodora Lab primarily focuses on two principal areas of HIV research: HIV transmission and HIV-induced disease and immune factors that impact progression to AIDS. Research areas of focus include tuberculosis, Ebola, system biology, global health, virology, infectious disease and immunology.

Stuart Lab

Ken StuartResearch in the Stuart Lab is focused on protozoan pathogens and the diseases that they cause. These include malaria, which is caused by Plasmodium parasites, and human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, which are caused by three trypanosomatid parasites. Research areas of focus include immunology, infectious disease, global health, genetic engineering, systems biology, biotechnology and host-pathogen interaction.

Urdahl Lab

Kevin UrdahlThe primary goal of the Urdahl Lab is to perform fundamental research into the immune response to tuberculosis that will help inform the rational design of a new and effective vaccine. Research areas of focus include infectious disease, tuberculosis, systems biology, drug resistance, global health, host-pathogen interaction, immunology and T cells.

Vaughan Lab

Ashley VaughnThe Vaughan Lab focuses our studies on the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent malaria models Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium berghei. Research areas of focus include systems biology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, drug resistance, global health, genetics, host-pathogen interaction, infectious disease and immunology.

Wagner Lab

Thor WagnerThe Wagner Lab focuses on HIV and other chronic viral infections. The lab studies the mechanism of viral persistence and aims to leverage those insights to engineer improved therapy for chronic infections. The primary focus of the lab is on cell and gene therapy as a novel strategy to treat infectious diseases. We are currently testing HIV-resistant anti-HIV CAR T cells in animal models.