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Our Faculty

Leadership

  • Jorge Galán

    Chair

    Lucille P. Markey Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Professor of Cell Biology; Chair, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Research Interests
    Bacteriology; Genetics, Microbial; Microbiology; Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment

    Dr. Jorge E. Galán earned his DVM from the National University of La Plata (Argentina) and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Cornell University. He completed postdoctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and was in the Faculty at SUNY Stony Brook before coming to Yale in 1998. He is currentlythe Lucille B. Markey Professor of Microbiology, Chair of the Departmentof Microbial Pathogenesis and Professor of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Galán is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, the Searle Scholar Award, the National Institutes of Health MERIT award in 2000 and 2015, the Hans Sigrist Prize, the Alexander M. Cruickshank Award, and the Robert Koch Prize.  He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and a member of the USA National Academy of Science.  He is a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards and has authored more than 200 publications in the field of bacterial pathogenesis and molecular biology.

Members

  • Choukri Ben Mamoun

    Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Research Interests
    Babesiosis; Malaria; Opportunistic Infections; Protozoan Infections; Infectious Disease Medicine
  • Michael Cappello

    Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease), of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Chair, Council on African Studies, Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies; co-Director, Yale Africa Initiative

    Research Interests
    Africa, Western; Developing Countries; Ghana; Hookworm Infections; Malaria; Microbiology; Pediatrics; Public Health; Tropical Medicine; Global Health; Infectious Disease Medicine

    Michael Cappello MD is Professor of Pediatrics, Microbial Pathogenesis, and Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine. In addition to his medical school appointments, Dr. Cappello also chairs the Council on African Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale and co-directs the Yale Africa Initiative. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in Biomedical Ethics and received his MD from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After training in adult and Pediatric infectious diseases at Yale, he joined the faculty in 1995. Dr. Cappello oversees a laboratory and field based research program focused on the global health impact of infectious diseases. He is a 2007 recipient of the Bailey K Ashford medal, awarded by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene “for distinguished work in tropical medicine.” In addition to research, Dr. Cappello provides clinical care as an Infectious Diseases specialist at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. He is also co-founder of the Yale Partnerships for Global Health, an initiative that advances scientific knowledge, promotes international understanding, and builds human capacity through collaborative research and training. From 2007-15, Dr. Cappello directed the Yale World Fellows Program, a multi-disciplinary, campus-wide initiative whose mission is to cultivate and inspire a global network of leaders committed to positive change. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Academic Advisory Council of Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

  • Charles Dela Cruz

    Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Director, Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT)

    Research Interests
    Respiratory Tract Infections; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive

    Dr. Dela Cruz completed his research training through an MD/PhD program in the area of immunology and virology from University of Toronto and Yale. Clinically, he is trained in internal medicine, and specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine and is currently an Associate Professor at Yale University in the same department. He is also the founding director for the Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT). www.cpirt.yale.edu. His laboratory is interested in studying the role of respiratory infection in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung diseases. Specifically, his work focuses on how lung infection contribute to inflammation, injury and tissue repair in the lung. This has allowed the lab to carefully study the molecular and cellular responses of several novel mediators in the lung.


    His laboratory focuses on two main research programs. (1) Studying novel immune regulators in the lung during respiratory infections. (2) Studying the effects of cigarette smoke (CS) exposure in the pathogenesis of airway and lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using preclinical genetic mouse models and human biosamples. The goal of the lab is also to be able to confirm and translate the findings using biospecimens from the established and establishing cohort of human patients with various lung diseases.

    COPD is a composite entity that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a leading cause of death in the world, and is a disease that is in need of new treatments. One of the goal of our laboratory is to investigate the interaction between CS and respiratory virus infection in the pathogenesis of COPD and identify novel therapeutic targets for this respiratory disease. It has been long thought that the frequent respiratory infections in COPD patients are due to their depressed immune function. Our studies have revealed that CS-exposed hosts have an over-exaggerated immune reaction to viral infections. Frequent acute COPD exacerbations correlate with increased rate of disease progression and more loss of lung function in COPD especially if it is due to viral infections. Our studies have shown that CS exposure has an impressive ability to regulate the innate immunity in the lung after influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. CS enhances the inflammation, alveolar destruction and airway fibrosis caused by influenza virus and RSV. These effects are mediated by type I interferon and RIG-like helicase antiviral innate immune pathway. CS exposure also results in the induction of interleukin-15 in the setting of these respiratory infections. We hypothesize that these novel mechanistic pathways may explain the heightened inflammatory response and worsening lung functions in COPD patients with multiple virally-induced exacerbations, and the chronic lung inflammation seen in stable COPD patients. We have also translated our findings by studying these immune mediators in patients infected with various respiratory viruses and have thus far collected >300 human biosamples.
    YCCI Scholar 2011

  • Erol Fikrig

    Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Section Chief, Infectious Diseases

    Research Interests
    Bacteria; Epidemiology; Lyme Disease; Parasitology; Public Health; Ticks; Viruses; West Nile virus; Global Health; Ehrlichiosis; Borrelia burgdorferi; Infectious Disease Medicine

    My laboratory investigates vector-borne diseases. Studies are directed toward understanding Lyme disease, Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, and West Nile virus. Efforts on Lyme disease include exploring immunity to Borrelia burgdorferi, selective B. burgdorferi gene expression in vivo, and the immunobiology of Lyme arthritis. Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by a newly described pathogen, transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks, that persists within neutrophils. We are investigating the molecular strategies that this pathogen uses to survive in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. West Nile virus can cause fatal encephalitis, and we seek to understand the pathogenesis of this emerging disease. Finally, we are also developing molecular approaches to prevent ticks from feeding on a mammalian host, thereby interfering with pathogen transmission.

  • Ya-Chi Ho

    Assistant Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Investigator, HIV Reservoirs and Viral Eradication Transformative Science Group (Cure TSG)

    Research Interests
    Genetics; HIV; Immunotherapy; Microbiology; Host-Pathogen Interactions; Transcriptome; Epigenetic Repression

    Dr. Ho takes a molecular virology, single-cell and genomics approaches to examine HIV persistence and develop HIV cure strategies. Using clinical samples from HIV-infected individuals, the Ho lab investigates host-HIV interactions with particular interests in HIV-1-host RNA landscape (using single-cell RNAseq), CD4 T cell expansion dynamics, HIV-host genome interactions, and HIV-1-specific silencing, and immune escape mechanisms. Dr. Ho was a board-certified infectious disease attending physician in Taiwan. She received her PhD (2013) and postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Dr. Robert F. Siliciano's lab. She was a tenure track instructor (2016) and then an assistant professor (2017) at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before she joined Yale School of Medicine in September 2017. As a investigator of the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) and the BEAT HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory, she actively collaborate with geneticists, bioinformaticians, immunologists and physicians to study HIV-1 persistence. She is currently funded by an NIH R01 grant and an NIH R61/R33 grant as the Principal Investigator.

  • Raymond Johnson

    Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Research Interests
    Chlamydia trachomatis; Trachoma; Infectious Disease Medicine

    I received my M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). My Ph.D. was from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology on the pathogenesis of Herpes simplex virus; followed by medical residency and Infectious Diseases training was at Washington University in St. Louis where I was a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. I joined the Indiana University faculty in 2001 to work on Chlamydia pathogenesis, which remains my research focus to the present day.

  • Barbara Kazmierczak

    Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation M.D.-Ph.D. Program Director and Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Professor, Microbial Pathogenesis; Director, MD-PhD Program, Yale University

    Research Interests
    Bacterial Infections; Education, Medical, Graduate; Immunity, Innate; Microbiology; Pseudomonas; Biomedical Research; Host-Pathogen Interactions; Infectious Disease Medicine

    Dr. Kazmierczak received her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University (1993) and her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College (1994), both in New York City. She completed an Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Diseases fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco, and joined the Yale faculty in 2001.  She is currently a Professor of Medicine and Microbial Pathogenesis, and Director of the MD-PhD program at Yale.

    Dr. Kazmierczak's research program is broadly focused on bacterial and host factors that allow opportunistic infections to occur.  Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a clinically relevant model, her lab addresses fundamental questions of how cell-envelope spanning bacterial machines - the Type 3 secretion system, Type 4 pili and polar flagellum - are assembled, regulated, and used during infection.  She has also identified host responses directed at components of these virulence associated structures, in particular those mediated by the NLRC4 inflammasome. Inflammatory responses to bacteria are also a focus of her work on microbiome-host interactions in infants with Cystic Fibrosis, where her lab has used longitudinal data acquired over five years from cohorts of patients and controls to understand gut microbiome composition and the inflammatory and metabolic responses at this site. 

    Dr. Kazmierczak has been recognized as a Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (2007), a Donaghue Investigator (2002), and a Hellman Family Fellow (2002).  She is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Academy for Microbiology.

  • Priti Kumar

    Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases

    Research Interests
    T-Lymphocytes; RNA Interference; Infectious Disease Medicine; Molecular Targeted Therapy

    The Kumar laboratory conducts translational research with a main focus on the development of novel gene therapies for viral infections. Over the last 7 years as faculty at Yale, Dr. Kumar’s laboratory has been involved in understanding the pathogenesis of RNA viruses like HIV and West Nile virus in relevant small animal models and expanding research efforts for prevention and treatment of infections caused by these viruses. Notable advances from the group have been the development and testing of novel gene therapeutic strategies for HIV in humanized mice, with the goal of enabling in vivo gene therapy in humans.

  • Brett Lindenbach

    Associate Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and of Comparative Medicine

    Research Interests
    Arbovirus Infections; Biochemistry; Biology; Biotechnology; Genetic Techniques; Hepatitis, Viral, Human; Hepatitis C; Liver Diseases; Microscopy; RNA; RNA Virus Infections; Viruses

    Dr. Lindenbach is an internationally recognized expert on the Flaviviridae, a large family of enveloped, positive-strand RNA viruses, including several important human and animal pathogens. Dr. Lindenbach received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied the replication of RNA viruses.  He completed postdoctoral studies with Dr. Paul Ahlquist at the HHMI/University of Wisconsin and with Dr. Charlie Rice at The Rockefeller University, where he developed the first robust cell culture model of hepatitis C virus.  Dr. Lindenbach values a team-building approach to mentorship and received tenure in 2017.

  • Jun Liu

    Associate Professor Tenure; Associate Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Research Interests
    Signal Transduction; Cryoelectron Microscopy

    Dr. Liu has been working in the field of electron microscopy for 20 years. In particular, he gained expertise in cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) after working with Prof. Ken Taylor at Florida State University and Dr. Sriram Subramaniam at NIH. Since he started his own laboratory in 2007, he has been dedicated to developing high-throughput cryo-ET pipeline in which both data collection and image analysis are streamlined and automated. The high-throughput cryo-ET pipeline is becoming increasingly powerful, enabling his laboratory to visualize over 100,000 cells from 100 different bacterial species. More importantly, the massive data from cryo-ET has been systematically utilized to gain structural insights into fundamental biological processes related to signaling transduction, flagellar assembly, protein secretion, phage adsorption DNA translocation, and host-pathogen interactions. Dr. Liu has published more than 60 papers in journals that include Nature, Science, PNAS, and Cell


  • John D MacMicking

    Associate Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and of Immunobiology; Member, Yale Systems Biology Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Research Interests
    Bacterial Infections and Mycoses; Cell Biology; Immunity, Innate; Interferons; Parasitic Diseases; Virus Diseases; Computational Biology; Inflammasomes

    John MacMicking is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. He trained in synthetic organic chemistry at the Australian National University (B.Sc, 1st Class Honors) where he conducted thesis work in the Department of Immunology & Cell Biology formerly headed by 1996 Nobel Laureate, Peter Doherty, at the the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

    He then came to the U.S. to pursue Ph.D studies with Carl Nathan in the Immunology program at Cornell University-Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City before being selected as an HHMI Life Science Research Foundation Fellow at The Rockefeller University to conduct studies with John Mckinney.

    His doctoral dissertation described the first knockout of an innate immune gene in mammals - inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) - genetically engineered between 1992-1995. It served as an early paradigm for cell-autonomous immunity to infection. At Rockefeller University he computationally identified, physically mapped and began functionally characterizing a complete IFN-inducible GTPase superfamily in humans and mice as a new defense network operating against all pathogen classes. For these discoveries he has been named a Edward Mallinckrodt Jr Foundation Fellow (2004), Searle Scholar (2005), Cancer Research Institute Investigator (2006), Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Investigator (2008), CCFA Senior Research Awardee (2010), AAF Scholar (2014) and Kenneth Rainin Foundation Innovator (2014).

    Dr. MacMicking was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010 and received Tenure in 2014. He was chosen as an HHMI Investigator in 2015 before moving to the Yale Systems Biology Institute in 2017. 

  • Walther Mothes

    Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis; Co-Leader, Cancer Microbiology

    Research Interests
    Cell Biology; HIV; Immune System; Retroviridae

    Dr. Mothes studied chemistry (Diploma 1993) and received a Ph.D. in cell biology (Humboldt-University Berlin, 1998) for his studies on protein secretion and membrane protein integration at the endoplasmic reticulum under the mentorship of Dr. Tom Rapoport at Harvard Medical School. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. John Young and James Cunningham on retroviral entry before he started his own laboratory at Yale University in 2001. Dr. Mothes was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and received Tenure in 2011.

  • Hesper Rego

    Assistant Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Research Interests
    Bacteria; Cell Biology; Imaging, Three-Dimensional; Single-Cell Analysis

    Hesper trained as physicist in both her undergraduate studies (Caltech, B.S. Physics, 2005), and her graduate studies (UCSF, PhD, Biophysics, 2011). She did her graduate work with the late Mats Gustafsson at UCSF and Janelia Farm. In his group, she developed a nonlinear form of Structured-Illumination Microscopy. Afterwards, wanting to explore a biological phenomenon she did her postdoctoral work with Eric Rubin at the Harvard School of Public Health where she became fascinated by the ability of genetically identical organisms to display different phenotypes. This phenomenon is especially important for the treatment of tuberculosis, a disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is excited to start a research group at the intersection of these two areas: the application of advanced light microscopy techniques to investigate the strategies mycobacteria use to survive the stresses imposed by antibiotics and host.

  • Craig Roy

    Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and of Immunobiology; Vice-Chair, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis

    Research Interests
    Bacteria; Immune System; Macrophages; Protozoan Proteins; Legionella pneumophila; Coxiella burnetii; Vesicular Transport Proteins

    Craig Roy received his B.S. from Michigan State University in 1985 and earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University in 1991 in the laboratory of Dr. Stanley Falkow. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Ralph Isberg in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine in 1996, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Stony Brook University. Dr. Roy became a founding member of the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University in 1998 and serves as Vice-Chair. He currently holds the title of Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunobiology. Research in the Roy laboratory focuses on the host-pathogen interface. Using multi-disciplinary approaches his laboratory has discovered many novel mechanisms that intracellular pathogens use to modulate host membrane transport pathways, which allow these pathogens to evade cell autonomous defenses and create novel organelles that permit bacterial replication.

  • Richard Sutton

    Professor

    Research Interests
    HIV; Molecular Biology; Infectious Disease Medicine

    After finishing his undergraduate studies at Brown University, Dr. Sutton enrolled in the MSTP at Stanford, where he obtained his PhD degree with Dr. John Boothroyd, working on African trypanosomes. He then completed a categorical residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in infectious diseases at UCSF. After post-doctoral stints with Drs. Harold Varmus, Dan Littman, and Pat Brown in which he worked on HTLV cell binding and entry and the development of HIV-based gene therapy vectors, he joined the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2008 he was recruited to Yale to continue his work on HIV replication and lentiviral vectors. Dr. Sutton spends approximately 50% of his time at the research bench and 25% in the clinical setting, both out-patient and in-patient. Currently he is also the chief of ID at VACT in West Haven.