mpri faculty

There are currently over 50 affiliated and resident faculty members from 12 campus departments as well as from neighboring institutions.

Mosser, David, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

Dr. Mosser is the Founding Director of MPRI and Professor, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. The research interests in the Mosser lab include innate and adaptive immunity to microbial pathogens.


Baya, Ana, Ph.D. (Animal Health Lab)

Dr. Baya is interested in new pathogens/emerging diseases for fish mainly striped bass and collaborates with researchers in fish disease and fish health problems both within and outside the State of Maryland.


Bentley, William, Ph.D. (Bioengineering)

Dr. Bentley is director of the Bioengineering Graduate Program and the Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor in Engineering. Bentley is a professor of chemical engineering, holding a joint appointment with Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute or MTECH, which is formerly the Engineering Research Center and University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.


Bergman, Nicholas H., PhD (NBACC)

Dr. Bergman is a Senior Principal Investigator, Genomics, National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). Dr. Bergman's expertise is in computational modeling, bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics. His research interests have been in the use of a range of systems-level approaches in understanding the biology and pathogenesis of a variety of bacterial pathogens, including B. anthracis, F. tularensis, S. aureus, S. pyogenes, and A. baumannii.


Briken, Volker, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

The Briken lab is interested in testing the hypothesis that the capacity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to inhibit infection-induced apoptosis of macrophages is a major pathway of the bacteria to avoid the host’s innate and adaptive immune response. Their studies have the goal of understanding the molecular mechanism of this host-pathogen interaction. Until recently, the capacity of mycobacteria to inhibit macrophage apoptosis has been linked to bacterial virulence based only on correlative data due to the lack of defined bacterial mutants.


Burans, James P. CAPT, USN (Ret) (National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC))

Dr. Burans is the founding Director of the National Bioforensic Analysis Center at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center prior to NBACC’s transition to an FFRDC. The mission focus of the NBFAC is to conduct and coordinate the scientific analysis of evidentiary samples from biocrime and bioterror investigations. Throughout his 24-year Navy career, Dr. Burans has been in the forefront of the development of field deployable rapid diagnostic assay and advanced molecular techniques for the identification and characterization of biological threat agents in environmental and clinical samples.


Colwell, Rita, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen/Ctr Bioinformatics and Comp Biol)

The Colwell laboratory is focused on the use of both environmental and molecular genetic data to provide rapid diagnostic identification and detection, particularly of pathogenic agents. Environmental modeling is employed to develop a capacity to predict and prevent infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics, in essence, a “preemptive medicine” model. Determining conditions conducive to onset of epidemics of infectious disease and developing preemptive medicine protocols will permit efficient allocation of resources to prevent or reduce epidemics.


Connolly, Martha J., Ph.D. (MTECH)

Dr. Connolly is the Director of the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS), a program of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH).


Culver, James, Ph.D. (CBR)

Dr. Culver is an Associate Professor in the Center for Biosystems Research. Research in his laboratory is directed at understanding how viruses replicate and cause disease or induce resistance responses.


DeShong, Philip, Ph.D. (Chem and Biochem)

Dr. DeShong is a Professor in the Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research interests include the synthesis of heterocyclic natural products, development of methodology for organic synthesis, mechanistic organomanganese chemistry, organic/ organometallic reactions at high pressure, chemistry of carbohydrate, hypervalent silicon derivatives, new methods for the synthesis of combinatorial libraries.


DeStefano, Jeffrey, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

Research in Dr. DeStefano's laboratory focuses on the role of HIV-reverse transcriptase (RT) and nucleocapsid protein (NC) in the processes of retroviral recombination and replication.


Ehrman, Sheryl, Ph.D. (Chem and Biomolecular Engineering)

Dr. Ehrman's current research interests concern fine particles (micron or less). The field of fine particle research can be roughly subdivided into the wet and the dry, and the good and the bad. Wet or dry describes how the particles are formed, either in solution or by gas-to-particle conversion, respectively.


El-Sayed, Najib, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen/Ctr for Bioinformatics and Comp Biol)

Dr. Najib's research program is focused on the study of the biology of parasitism and host-pathogen interactions using genomic approaches with the ultimate goal of better understanding infection and survival mechanisms. These approaches include the development and application of molecular, computational and phylogenetic tools. In the long term, our research will contribute to better diagnosis, prevention and therapeutics of parasite- and bacteria-caused diseases in humans, animals and plants.


Hamza, Iqbal, Ph.D. (Animal Sci)

The Hamza lab utilizes a genomic and molecular approach to identify the genes and molecules involved in heme homeostasis and trafficking in humans by using Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic animal model of heme auxotrophy.


Huq, Anwar, Ph.D. (MPRI)

The focus of my research interest is to understand a pathogen with the ultimate goal of disease prevention or intervention.


Kingsford, Carl, Ph.D. (Computer Sci/Ctr Bioinformatics and Comp Biol)

Dr. Kingsford's lab focused on: transcription termination in bacteria, protein structure prediction, overlapping genes in bacteria, evolution of the influenza genome, motif finding, and protein function prediction.


Kofinas, Peter, Ph.D. (Bioengineering)

The research in the Kofinas lab involves. separation of viruses and virus-like particles from various media. This represents an enormous challenge to the fields of medicine, healthcare, and biotechnology.


Lee, Vincent, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

Dr. Lee's research interestst include host-pathogen interactions, in particular, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and allosteric regulation of molecular complexes.


Lee, Sang Bok, Ph.D. (Chem and Biochem)

Electrochemical synthesis of nanotube-structured materials for ultrafast electrochromics, supercapacitors, and solar cells.


McIver, Kevin, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

Dr. McIver's lab interests include host-bacterial pathogen interactions, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis for Streptococcus pyogenes and Francisella tularensis, and gene regulation.


Milton, Donald, M.D., Ph.D. (Professor and Director (MIAEH)

Dr. Milton leads multidisciplinary investigations of the health effects of bioaerosols with three major themes: 1) the relationship of asthma onset and exacerbation to exposure to allergens and microbial products, 2) investigation and prevention of airborne infection transmission, and 3) exhaled breath analysis.


Mount, Stephen, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen/Ctr Bioinformatics and Comp Biol)

The Mount lab is interested in splice site selection during pre-mRNA splicing in eukaryotes. The research takes a genetic approach to this problem using Arabidopsis thaliana and Drosophila melanogaster.


Payne, Greg, Ph.D. (BIOE/IBBR)

Biology enlists a range of materials and mechanisms for construction at the nanoscale. Through extensive collaborations, Dr. Payne's lab is studying and applying these “biofabrication” approaches for technological purposes.In particular, our lab focuses on “biofabricating” with stimuli-responsive biological polymers (especially polysaccharides) and enzymes (especially tyrosinase and transglutaminase). One goal of the work is to create the means for interfacing biology with electronics so devices can better; diagnose disease at the point of care, detect pathogens at the market, and discover drugs in the lab. Another broad goal of biofabrication is to provide biocompatible approaches for; personalized therapy, regenerative medicine, and less-invasive surgery.


Pop, Mihai, Ph.D. (Computer Sci/Ctr Bioinformatics and Comp Biol)

Dr. Pop's research is motivated by recent developments in high-throughput experimental technologies and the need to extract meaningful information from the wealth of data being generated. His lab is interested in both developing the necessary computational infrastructure for conducting biological research and in understanding the fundamental computational structure of the problems being solved. Most of his recent research has focused on the analysis of microbial communities - a new scientific field called Metagenomics - with a particular focus on the microbes that inhabit the human body.


Rosovitz, MJ, Ph.D. (NBACC)

Dr. Rosovitz is a Principal Investigator, Genomics, at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, Battelle National Biodefense Institute. Her work has included comparative genomic analysis of bacterial pathogens including the Bacillus cereus group.


Sapkota, Amy, Ph.D. (MD Inst for Applied Health)


Song, Wenxia, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

The broad interest of my laboratory is to understand how the cellular activities of B-lymphocytes are regulated.


Stein, Daniel, Ph.D. (Cell Biol and Molec Gen)

Dr. Stein’s research is focused on understanding the how the human pathogen, Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes disease. His research emphasizes cell biology, immunological and molecular genetic approaches to bacterial virulence.


Wu, Louisa, Ph.D. (Ctr for Biosystems Res)

Dr. Wu's research focuses on host defense against pathogens and signal transduction and cell-cell signaling in the innate immune response in insects.


Yorke, James, Ph.D. (Math and Physics)

Zhang, Yanjin, Ph.D. (Vet Med)

Zhu, Xiaoping, Ph.D. (Vet Med)