Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease



Infectious diseases of all types remain among the greatest threats to human health. Recent events remind us that combatting these ongoing imminent threats requires a detailed understanding of the biological processes that are the basis for infection and disease. This understanding, in turn, provides the foundational knowledge that guides development of new therapies.

Faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics study infectious disease-causing agents ranging from viruses to multicellular parasites. Members of their laboratories seek to understand the molecular underpinnings of the parasites and key host-parasite interactions that drive disease. The goal is to know, at the most fundamental level, how these infectious agents operate and evolve by applying expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology, genomics, computational biology, biophysics, metabolomics, and proteomics in a collaborative and dynamic environment. This multidisciplinary approach provides major insights into the biology of these parasites as well as identifying novel targets to inform drug screens, vaccine development, and new diagnostics.

Molecular basis of infectious disease

Faculty with Research in this Area


Angelo DAlessandro -- 500 x 600

Angelo D'Alessandro, PhD

Cancer metabolism and (red) blood cell biology

Richard Davis -- 500 x 600

Richard Davis, PhD

Programmed DNA elimination, novel RNAs, and RNA metabolism

Elan Eisenmesser -- 500 x 600

Elan Eisenmesser, PhD

Viral protein/host protein interactions and enzyme motions

Jay Hesselberth -- 500 x 600

Jay Hesselberth, PhD

Nucleic acid repair

Jeff Kieft -- 500 x 600

Jeffrey Kieft, PhD

Complex RNA structure and how RNA controls diverse biological processes

Olivia Rissland -- 500 x 600

Olivia Rissland, PhD

RNA stability and translation

Beat Vogeli -- 500 x 600

Beat Vögeli, PhD

NMR spectroscopy for the elucidation of conformation and communication networks within and between proteins and nucleic acids

Hongjin Zheng -- 500 x 600

Hongjin Zheng, PhD

Structural biology of membrane proteins and protein complexes