The Center for Global Infectious Disease Research's members include experts in understanding, treating and preventing infectious disease.
Lisa Frenkel, MD
Dr. Lisa Frenkel is co-director of the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute; a professor of pediatric infectious diseases, laboratory medicine and global health at the University of Washington; and co-director of Seattle Children's pediatric infectious diseases and virology clinic.
The Frenkel lab's current research includes:
- Developing practical, affordable ways to prevent mother-infant HIV transmission
- Identifying the mechanisms that cause adults to shed HIV in the genital tract, placing babies at risk of infection during birth
- Understanding viral factors related to HIV transmission
- Treating drug-resistant HIV in children and adults
Timothy Rose, PhD
Dr. Timothy Rose is co-director of the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute, a professor of pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington and a UW adjunct professor in the departments of epidemiology, microbiology and oral health sciences.
The Rose Lab's research focuses on the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV8) and its transmission and pathogenic role in AIDS-related malignancies. Current research areas include:
- Identification and characterization of cellular receptors mediating KSHV infection
- Cell-cell transmission of KSHV infections
- Comparative analysis of KSHV and its simian homologs and their role in tumor induction associated with HIV-induced immunosuppression
- Characterization of latency and the activating switch to herpesvirus replication
- Development of diagnostic tests for known and emerging viruses of global health importance
Serge Barcy, PhD
Dr. Serge Barcy is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and a research assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington.
Barcy's research focuses on identifying the immune correlates in the oral mucosa involved with control of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) infection and impact of HIV, especially in pediatric populations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Marta Bull, PhD
Dr. Marta Bull is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and a research assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington.
Her primary research interest includes HIV at mucosal sites, primarily but not limited to the female genital tract. Her interest in the genital tract is threefold:
- Better define immunological milieu at mucosal sites and how this pertains to HIV persistence at these sites
- Better define the viral dynamics and exchange between the genital tract, blood and other tissues
- Evaluate the role of other chronic viruses – such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1, HSV-2, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus – in HIV persistence
Specific areas currently under study include the cellular populations associated with HIV shedding from the female genital tract, and immune mechanisms that promote HIV persistence at tissue sites as a barrier to an HIV cure.
Rafael Hernandez, MD, PhD
Dr. Rafael Hernandez is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and an acting instructor in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington.
The Hernandez Lab research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of mycobacteria, including tuberculosis and related bacteria. In particular, he seeks to understand how mycobacteria interact with cells of the immune system to promote their own survival and how this interaction makes the bacteria more difficult to treat with antibiotics.
Hernandez also heads the Cystic Fibrosis Isolate Core, which provides CF bacterial isolates to researchers at both academic/not-for-profit and commercial research institutions. The core collection contains thousands of isolates from CF patients. Core services to academic researchers are funded by the NIH as part of the Cystic Fibrosis Research and Translation Center at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Research Institute.
Heather Jaspan, MD, PhD
Dr. Heather Jaspan is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and an assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington.At this time, most of Jaspan’s research is conducted in South Africa:
In sub-Saharan Africa, there are 200,000 new infant HIV infections annually and adolescents are the fastest growing group of infected individuals. Her 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
Jaspan's clinical site is primarily located in Cape Town, South Africa, where recruitment and sample processing occur.
Rachel A. Katzenellenbogen, MD
Dr. Rachel Katzenellenbogen is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, an attending physician in adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.
Research in the Katzenellenbogen lab centers on human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common sexually transmitted infection, affecting more than 75% of the adult population. HPV infections are linked to cervical cancer and other cancers, and are categorized as high-risk or low-risk. Katzenellenbogen's team studies high-risk HPV infections and is currently investigating the mechanism by which high-risk HPV activates telomerase, an enzyme that is found normally in stem cells and is almost categorically activated in cancers. This research could lead to a new understanding of how HPV drives cells to become malignant.
Lakshmi Rajagopal, PhD
Dr. Lakshmi Rajagopal is a principal investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington. She also has adjunct faculty appointments in the UW Departments of Microbiology and Global Health, and is a full faculty member of the UW's Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program.
The Rajagopal lab's research focuses on bacteria that cause perinatal infections that are associated with stillbirth and prematurity. She has a particular interest in the Group B streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus pathogens. Although both GBS and S. aureus are commensal organisms, these bacteria can also become disease-causing pathogens.
Thor A. Wagner, MD
Dr. Thor Wagner is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and an assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington.
His research focuses on pediatric HIV infection, which accounts for 15% of all HIV deaths. Wagner's primary interest is in understanding chronic HIV infection during antiretroviral therapy – and why antiretroviral therapy doesn't eradicate HIV infection. Is there ongoing viral replication? Is there proliferation of cells with viable proviral HIV? Can we identify the remaining infected cells? Is immune tolerance to HIV a barrier to curing HIV? Answers to these questions should help design new treatment strategies that are more likely to cure HIV.
Scott Weissman, MD
Dr. Scott Weissman is an investigator in the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and an assistant professor of pediatric infectious disease at the University of Washington.
The Weissman lab studies the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance among bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, that infect pediatric patients. Weissman and his collaborators developed a faster, more economical method – a two-locus typing known as CH typing – of identifying E. coli strains. Weissman is also part of a team that's developing an Internet-based surveillance system to monitor outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria worldwide.