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Faculty Mentors

Infectious Disease Therapeutics Training Program

Once accepted as a fellow in the Infectious Disease Therapeutics Training Program, you will work with the program’s faculty mentors to select a lab for your postdoctoral research. Mentors include internationally recognized basic and translational research faculty working in a broad range of infectious disease-related areas. 

During your fellowship, you will also interact extensively with clinical faculty who oversee the clinical, translational and international aspects of the program. These mentors offer expertise in clinical trials and patient care as well as experience in infectious disease subspecialty training.

Patricia Flynn, MD

Education: Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

Research Interests: Pediatric/Adolescent HIV/AIDS clinical trials

Julia Hurwitz, PhD

Education: Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Research interests: Vaccine development. Respiratory viruses. HIV. Impact of nuclear receptors (e.g. vitamin/hormone/steroid receptors) and respective response elements on the immune response.

  1. Adderson E, Branum K, Sealy RE, Jones BG, Surman SL, Penkert R, Freiden P, Slobod KS, Gaur AH, Hayden RT, Allison K, Howlett N, Utech J, Allay J, Knight J, Sleep S, Meagher M, Russell CJ, Portner A, Hurwitz JL. Safety and immunogenicity of an intranasal Sendai virus-based parainfluenza virus type 1 vaccine in 3-6 year old children. Clin Vaccine Immunol 22: 298-303, 2015.

    Jones BG, Oshansky CM, Bajracharya R, Tang L, Sun Y, Wong SS, Webby R, Thomas PG, Hurwitz JL. Retinol binding protein and vitamin D associations with serum antibody isotypes, serum influenza virus-specific neutralizing activities and airway cytokine profiles. Clin Experimental Immunol 183:239-247, 2016.

    Russell CJ, Hurwitz JL. Sendai virus as a backbone for vaccines against RSV and other human paramyxoviruses. Expert Review of Vaccines Epub ahead of print, 2016.

    Penkert R, Surman SL, Jones BG, Sealy RE, Vogel P, Neale G, Hurwitz JL. Vitamin A deficient mice experience increased viral antigens and enhanced cytokine/chemokine production in nasal tissues following respiratory virus infection despite the presence of FoxP3+ T cells. Int Immunol Epub ahead of print, 2016.

    Hurwitz JL, Penkert R, Xu B, Fan Y, Partridge J, Gearhart PJ. Hotspots for vitamin-steroid-thyroid hormone response elements within switch regions of immunoglobulin heavy chain loci predict a direct influence of vitamins and hormones on B cell class switch recombination. Viral Immunology Epub ahead of print, 2016.

    Surman SL, Penkert RR, Jones BG, Sealy RE, Hurwitz JL. Vitamin supplementation at the time of immunization with cold-adapted influenza virus vaccine corrects poor antibody responses in mice deficient for vitamins A and D. Clin Vaccine Immunol  Epub ahead of print, 2016.

Richard Lee, PhD

Education: Chemistry, Newcastle University, UK

Research interests: Structure-based drug design and development of novel antimicrobial agents for the treatment of chronic bacterial infections.

  1. Bruhn DF, Waidyarachchi SL, Madhura DB, Shcherbakov D, Zheng Z, Liu J, Abdelrahman YM, Singh AP, Duscha S, Rathi C, Lee RB, Belland RJ, Meibohm B, Rosch JW, Böttger EC, Lee RE. Aminomethyl spectinomycins as therapeutics for drug-resistant respiratory tract and sexually transmitted bacterial infections. Sci Transl Med May 20;7(288):288ra75, 2015. PMID: 25995221

    Lee RE, Hurdle JG, Liu J, Bruhn DF, Matt T, Scherman MS, Vaddady PK, Zheng Z, Qi J, Akbergenov R, Das S, Madhura DB, Rathi C, Trivedi A, Villellas C, Lee RB, Rakesh, Waidyarachchi SL, Sun D, McNeil MR, Ainsa JA, Boshoff HI, Gonzalez-Juarrero M, Meibohm B, Böttger EC, Lenaerts AJ. Spectinamides: a new class of semisynthetic antituberculosis agents that overcome native drug efflux. Nat Med Feb;20(2):152-8, 2014. PMID: 24464186.

    Yun M-K,  Wu Y, Li Z, Zhao Y, Waddell MB, Ferreira AM, Lee RE, Bashford D, White SW. Catalysis and sulfa drug resistance in dihydropteroate synthase.  Science 335:1110-1114, 2012.

    Hurdle JG, Heathcott AE, Yang L, Yan B, Lee RE. Reutericyclin and related analogues kill stationary phase Clostridium difficile at achievable colonic concentrations. J Antimicrob Chemother 2011 Aug;66(8):1773-6. PMID: 21632577

Charles O. Rock, PhD

Education: Biochemistry, University of Tennessee

Research Interests: Regulation of lipid metabolism in pathogens and the identification of pathway targets for antimicrobial drug discovery. The laboratory specializes in biochemistry and has strong collaborations with X-ray crystallography and chemical biology investigators to probe enzyme active sites and optimize inhibitors.

  1. Parsons JB, Broussard TC, Bose JL, Rosch JW, Jackson P, Subramanian C, Rock CO. Identification of a two-component fatty acid kinase responsible for host fatty acid incorporation by Staphylococcus aureusProc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:10532-10537, 2014.

    Sharma LK, Leonardi R, Lin W, Boyd VA, Goktug A, Shelat AA, Chen T, Jackowski S, Rock CO. A high-throughput screen reveals new small-molecule activators and inhibitors of pantothenate kinases. J Med Chem 58:1563-1568, 2015.

    Yao J, Cherian PT, Frank MW, Rock CO. Chlamydia trachomatis relies on autonomous phospholipid synthesis for membrane biogenesis. J Biol Chem 290:18874-18888, 2015.

    Broussard TC, Miller DJ, Jackson P, Nourse A, White SW, Rock CO. Biochemical roles for conserved residues in the bacterial fatty acid binding protein family. J Biol Chem 2016.

    Yao J, Bruhn DF, Frank MW, Lee RE, Rock CO. (2016) Activation of exogenous fatty acids to acyl-acyl carrier protein cannot bypass FabI inhibition in NeisseriaJ Biol Chem 291:171-181, 2016.

Jason Rosch, PhD

Education: Molecular Microbiology and Pathogenesis, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions with an emphasis on pathogenic streptococci. Application of advanced bacterial genetics and genomics to understand pathogen evolution in the context of high-risk hosts. Identification of novel pathways as new therapeutic targets. 

  1. Honsa ES, Johnson MDL, Rosch JW. Role of transition metals in signaling and pathogenesis of Streptococcus pneumoniaeFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 3:92-102, 2013. PMID: 24364001

    Rosch JW, Iverson AR, Humann J, Mann B, Gao G, Vogel P, Mina M, Murrah KA, Perez AC, Swords WE, Tuomanen EI, McCullers JA. A live attenuate pneumococcal vaccine elicits CD4+ T-cell dependent class switching and provides serotype independent protection against acute otitis media. EMBO Molecular Medicine 6(1):141-54, 2014. 

    Carter R, Wolf J, van Opijnen T, Muller M, Obert C, Burnham C, Mann B, Li Y, Hayden RT, Pestina T, Persons D, Camilli A, Flynn PM, Tuomanen EI, Rosch JW. Genomic analysis of pneumococci from children with sickle cell disease reveals disease-specific bacterial adaptation and deficits in current clinical interventions. Cell Host and Microbe 15(5):587-99, 2014.

Charles Russell, PhD

Education: Physical Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley

Research Interests: Mechanisms of respiratory virus replication, transmission, and pathogenesis in normal and immunocompromised hosts. Development of novel vaccines and therapeutics against respiratory paramyxoviruses and influenza viruses. Viral membrane fusion glycoprotein structure, function, and evolution.

  1. Burke CW,* Mason JN,* Surman SL, Jones BG, Dalloneau E, Hurwitz JL, Russell CJ. Illumination of parainfluenza virus infection and transmission in living animals reveals a tissue-specific dichotomy. PLoS Pathogens 7:e1002134, 2011. *equal contributions from two 1st authors

    DuBois RM,* Zaraket H,* Reddivari M, Heath RJ, White SW, Russell CJ. Acid stability of the hemagglutinin protein regulates H5N1 influenza virus pathogenicity. PLoS Pathogens 7:e1002398, 2011. *equal contributions from two 1st authors

    Burke CW, Bridges O, Brown S, Rahija R, Russell CJ. Mode of parainfluenza virus transmission determines the dynamics of primary infection and protection from reinfection. PLoS Pathogens 9:e1003786, 2013.

    Elbahesh H, Cline T, Baranovich T, Govorkova EA, Schultz-Cherry S, Russell CJ. Novel roles of focal adhesion kinase in cytoplasmic entry and replication of influenza A viruses. J Virol 88:6714-6728, 2014.

    Russier M, Yang G, Rehg JE, Wong S-S, Mostafa HH, Fabrizio T, Barman S, Krauss S, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Russell CJ. Molecular requirements for a pandemic influenza virus: an acid-stable hemagglutinin protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2015 (in press).

Stacey Schultz-Cherry, PhD

Education: University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama

Research Interests: Influenza virus and astrovirus pathogenesis 




Elaine I. Tuomanen, MD CM,

Education: CM, McGill University, Canada

Research Interests: Pathogenesis of pneumococcal pneumonia and meningitis. Bioactivities of Gram positive cell wall peptidoglycan in infection. Neuronal apoptosis and proliferation in response to pathogens. Pathogen genomic analysis and microbiome analysis in immunocompromised children.

  1. Kietzman CC, Gao G, Mann B, Myers L, Tuomanen EI. Autolysis Reconsidered: Dynamic Capsule Restructuring by the Pneumococcal Autolysin in Response to the Epithelium. Nature Comm 2016 (in press).

    Humann J, Mann B, Smeyne R, Gao G, Moresco P, Farr A, lHu Y, Durick-Eder K, Fillon SA, Spellerberg B, Tuomanen EI. TLR2-Peptidoglycan Signaling Modulates Fetal Neurogenesis and Postnatal Behavior. Cell Host & Microbe 2016 (in press).

Richard Webby, PhD

Education: Virology, University of Otago, New Zealand

Research Internets: Influenza therapuetics. Preparedness for emerging influenza viruses. Vaccine design and testing.

  1. Barman S, Krylov PS, Fabrizio T, Franks J, Turner JC, Seiler P, Wang D, Rehg J, Erickson GA, Gramer M, Webster RG, Webby RJ. Pathogenicity and transmissibility of North American triple reassortant swine influenza A viruses in ferrets. PLoS Pathogens 8(7):e1002791, 2012.

    Zhu H, Wang D, Kelvin DJ, Li L, Zheng Z, Yoon SW, Wong SS, Farooqui A, Wang J, Banner D, Chen R, Zheng R, Zhou J, Zhang Y, Hong W, Dong W, Cai Q, Roehrl MH, Huang SS, Kelvin AA, Yao T, Zhou B, Chen X, Leung GM, Poon LL, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Peiris JS, Guan Y, Shu Y. Infectivity, transmission, and pathology of human-isolated H7N9 influenza virus in ferrets and pigs. Science Jul 12;341(6142):183-6, 2013.

    Duan S, Govorkova EA, Bahl J, Zaraket H, Baranovich T, Seiler P, Prevost K, Webster RG, Webby RJ. Epistatic interactions between neuraminidase mutations facilitated the emergence of the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 influenza viruses. Nat Commun Oct 9;5:5029, 2014.

    Zaraket H, Baranovich T, Kaplan BS, Carter R, Song MS, Paulson JC, Rehg JE, Bahl J, Crumpton JC, Seiler J, Edmonson M, Wu G, Karlsson E, Fabrizio T, Zhu H, Guan Y, Husain M, Schultz-Cherry S, Krauss S, McBride R, Webster RG, Govorkova EA, Zhang J, Russell CJ, Webby RJ. Mammalian adaptation of influenza A(H7N9) virus is limited by a narrow genetic bottleneck. Nat Commun Apr 8;6:6553, 2015.

    Song, M-S, Kumar G, Shadrick WR, Zhou W, Jeevan T, Li Z, Slavish PJ, Fabrizio TP, Yoon S-W, Webb TR, Webby RJ, White SW. Identification and characterization of influenza variants resistant to a viral endonuclease inhibitor. PNAS 2016 (in press).

Stephen White, DPhil

Education: Molecular Biophysics, Oxford University, UK

Research Interests: Structural and biophysical analyses of therapeutic targets in bacteria and viruses. Structure-based drug discovery using X-ray crystallography and fragment approaches. Analyses of enzyme active site mechanisms and protein-DNA recognition and interactions.

  1. Dubois RM, Aguilar-Yanez JM, Mendoza-Ochoa GI, Oropeza-Almazan Y, Schultz-Cherry S, Alvarez MM, White SW, Russell CJ. The receptor-binding domain of influenza virus hemagglutinin produced in Escherichia coli folds into its native, immunogenic structure. J Virol 85:855-872, 2011.

    Yun M-K,  Wu Y, Li Z, Zhao Y, Waddell MB, Ferreira AM, Lee RE, Bashford D, White SW. Catalysis and sulfa drug resistance in dihydropteroate synthase. Science 335:1110-1114, 2012.

    DuBois RM, Freiden P, Marvin S, Reddivari M, Heath RJ, White SW, Schultz-Cherry S. Crystal structure of the avian astrovirus capsid spike. J Virol 87:7853-7863, 2013.

    Hammoudeh DI, Daté M, Yun M-K, Zhang W, Boyd VA, Follis AV, Griffith E, Lee RE, Bashford D, White SW. Identification and characterization of an allosteric inhibitory site on dihydropteroate synthase. ACS Chem Biol 9:1294-1302, 2014.

    Song, M-S, Kumar G, Shadrick WR, Zhou W, Jeevan T, Li Z, Slavish PJ, Fabrizio TP, Yoon S-W, Webb TR, Webby RJ, White SW. Identification and characterization of influenza variants resistant to a viral endonuclease inhibitor. PNAS 2016 (in press).