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Faculty – backup

  • Tenured/Tenure Accruing Faculty

    Ana Conesa

    Ana Conesa

    General area:
    My research focuses on the understanding of the functional aspects of gene expression at the genome-wide level and across different organisms. My group has developed statistical methods and software tools that analyse transcriptome dynamics, functional annotation and omcis data integration. We have developed bioinformatics tools such as Blast2GO, maSigPro, Paintomcis and NOISeq, among others.

    352-392-1906
    Google Scholar Profile
    aconesa@ufl.edu

    Valerie de Crecy-Lagard

    Valerie de Crecy-Lagard

    General area:
    The main focus of Dr. de-Crecy-Lagard’s laboratory is to utilize the power of microbial genetics to make efficient use of the avalanche of genomic information now available. By combining comparative genomics approaches with experimental verification, new enzymes, pathways, and chemistries that had previously evaded identification can be revealed.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    BSC 4434c Introduction to Bioinformatics
    BSC 4913 and 4914 Research in Bioinformatics
    MCB 6318 Comparative Microbial Genomics
    MCB 6940 Microbiology Career Seminar

    352-392-9416
    Google Scholar Profile
    vcrecy@ufl.edu

    Jamie S. Foster

    Jamie S. Foster

    General area:
    The overall objective of Dr. Foster’s research program is to examine the formation and ecology of lithifying microbial communities known as microbialites. Her research and interests include environmental biology, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and microbial ecology.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 4652 Environmental Microbiology

    321-261-3772
    Google Scholar Profile
    jfoster@ufl.edu

    Claudio Gonzalez

    Claudio Gonzalez

    General area:
    Dr. Gonzalez is interested in the functional and biological characterization of unknown proteins with hydrolytic activity, the identification of natural substrates, determination of the metabolic pathway to which they are associated, and the elucidation of regulatory circuits involved with its expression or activity. His research and interests also include gene expression and regulation, protein engineering, and enzyme production and characterization.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 3023 – Principles of Microbiology

    352-273-8088
    Google Scholar Profile
    cfgonzalez@ufl.edu

    William Gurley

    William Gurley

    General area:
    Dr. Gurley’s research and interests include transcriptional regulation in plants and other eukaryotes, general transcription factors and upstream activator proteins, and the basic mechanisms involved in activated transcription. Currently, Dr. Gurley’s laboratory is focused on two main topics of study: one involving heat shock transcription factors, and the other, transcription factor IIB (TFIIB).

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    PCB 4522 – Molecular Genetics
    MCB 6317 – Molecular Biology of Gene Expression

    352-392-1568
    Google Scholar Profile
    wgurley@ufl.edu

    Lonnie O. Ingram

    Lonnie O. Ingram

    General area:
    Dr. Ingram’s research focuses on the genetic engineering of novel bacterial biocatalyst for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into ethanol fuels and other fermentation products which can replace imported petroleum. This work involves cloning and moving genes between bacteria to add new and useful traits to ethanol producing organisms, design of novel engineering processes for the production of ethanol (and other chemicals), nutritional investigations, and the identification of genes which contribute to ethanol tolerance. Global gene analysis is being used to investigate fundamental processes in metabolically engineered bacteria.

    352-392-8176
    Google Scholar Profile
    ingram@ufl.edu

    Howard Johnson

    Howard Johnson

    General area:
    Dr. Johnson’s studies are focused on understanding the mechanism of action and modulation of cytokine function in the immune system. The knowledge gained from this is being used to develop anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antitumor compounds. His most recent work involves regulators of immune function, called Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling (SOCS).

    352-846-0968
    Google Scholar Profile
    johnsonh@ufl.edu

    Nemat O. Keyhani

    Nemat O. Keyhani

    General area:
    Dr. Keyhani’s laboratory performs research in two main areas: (1) Tripartite interactions between Beauveria bassiana, a fungal pathogen of arthropods, their insect hosts, and plant partners with which the fungus forms associations. (2) Exploring the chemical communication in insects and the contributions of certain proteins within a framework of the biochemistry and evolution of insect social behavior.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 4304 – Genetics of Microorganisms
    MCB 6317 – Molecular Biology of Gene Expression
    MCB 6937 – Special Topics – Advanced Bacterial Genetics

    352-392-2488
    Google Scholar Profile
    keyhani@ufl.edu

    Peter E. Kima

    Peter E. Kima

    General area:
    Dr. Kima’s laboratory is interested in the mechanisms by which intracellular pathogens evade immune detection. The capacity to evade immune detection is crucial for pathogenesis. The current intracellular pathogens under investigation are protozoan parasites of the Leishmania spp. The studies in this area are guided by the hypothesis that the characteristics of the parasitophorous vacuole, which lead to antigen sequestration, are determined in part by the molecule(s) employed by the parasite to gain entry into the cell. The other interest of the lab is assessing how the choice to infect different hematopoeitic cells impacts on Leishmania pathogenesis.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    ZOO 4232 – Human Parasitology
    MCB 6772 – Advanced Topics in Cell Biology

    352-392-0384
    Google Scholar Profile
    pkima@ufl.edu

    Bryan Kolaczkowski

    Bryan Kolaczkowski

    General area:
    The Kolaczkowski Lab uses a combination of computational biology, statistics, structural modeling and biochemistry to examine how molecular systems evolve. We are particularly interested in the evolution of innate immunity in animals and plants. Please visit the Kolaczkowski lab Facebook page to learn more.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    BSC 4913 and 4914 – Research in Bioinformatics
    BSC 2891 – Python Programming for Biologists

    352-392-5925
    Google Scholar Profile
    bryank@ufl.edu

    Joseph Larkin III

    Joseph Larkin III

    General area:
    The basic goals of the immune system are to mediate effective defense against infectious microorganisms, and the elimination of defective/cancerous self tissues. However immune system activation must be tightly regulated in order to prevent immune responses which could result in autoimmune disease, a process known as tolerance. My laboratory investigates the contribution of T lymphocyte subsets and functions in maintaining tolerance, with a specific emphasis on Regulatory T cells (Tregs). Another focus of the lab is to determine whether changes in gut flora can modulate the onset of the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 6355 – Microbial/Host Defense
    PCB 4233 and 5235 – Immunology

    352-392-6884
    Google Scholar Profile
    jlarkin3@ufl.edu

    Graciele Lorka

    Graciele Lorka

    General area:
    Dr. Lorca is interested in the biology of one-component transcriptional regulators (TF). They are involved in the regulation of the gene expression in response to a wide variety of intracellular and environmental signals. Her lab is particularly interested in the identification of those small signal molecules using high throughput screening of small molecule, and in how the small molecule/TF interactions can be modified/optimized. She is exploring the possibility of using new regulatory networks for the in vivo delivery of bioactive molecules using Lactobacillus as live vector. Her research and interests include transcriptional regulation and comparative genomics.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 3023 – Principles of Microbiology
    MCB 6318 – Comparative Microbial Genomics

    352-273-8090
    Google Scholar Profile
    glorca@ufl.edu

    Zhonglin Mou

    Zhonglin Mou

    General area:
    Like animals, plants have evolved active defense mechanisms to fight microbial infections. Following pathogen invasion, plants activate multiple signal transduction pathways to mount immunity against the pathogens. Dr. Mou studies these signal transduction pathways and their activation mechanisms using the model plant Arabidopsis. Several projects are currently being carried out in the laboratory including: (1) Epigenetic regulation of plant immunity by the Elongator complex, (2) Regulation of plant immunity by extracellular pyridine nucleotides, (3) Regulation of SA accumulation during pathogen infection, (4) Engineering SAR in crop plants.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    PCB 3134 – Eukaryotic Cell Structure and Function
    MCB6772 – Advanced Topics in Cell Biology

    352-392-0285
    Google Scholar Profile
    zhlmou@ufl.edu

    Julie Maupin-Furlow

    Julie Maupin-Furlow

    General area:
    Microbial biochemistry and physiology, extremophiles, archaea, mechanisms of post-translational modification, ubiquitin-proteasome systems.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 4403 – Prokaryotic Cell Structure and Function
    MCB 6417 – Microbial Metabolism and Energetics
    MCB 6937 – Special Topics – Bacterial Physiology

    352-392-4095
    Google Scholar Profile
    jmaupin@ufl.edu

    Wayne L. Nicholson

    Wayne L. Nicholson

    General area:
    Dr. Nicholson’s laboratory studies mechanisms of bacterial spore resistance and longevity, the survival and proliferation of microorganisms in extreme extraterrestrial environments, and microbial evolution in novel environments.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 6457 – Metabolic Regulation

    321-261-3773
    Google Scholar Profile
    wln@ufl.edu

    James Preston

    James Preston

    General area:
    Dr. Preston’s laboratory studies (1) the selection of bacterial enzymes for the depolymerization of plant biomass and its fermentative conversion to alternative fuels and bio-based products, and (2) the evolution of molecular mechanisms involved in obligate parasitic relationships of Pasteuria spp. with phytopathogenic nematodes and claderocerans.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 6465 – Microbial Metabolic Engineering

    352-392-5923
    Google Scholar Profile
    jpreston@ufl.edu

    Kelly Rice

    Kelly Rice

    General area:
    Dr. Rice’s research program focuses on aspects of bacterial physiology and cell communication that contribute to biofilm development of pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. Specific research projects currently under investigation include: (1) Determining the contributions of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) to biofilm, physiology, and cell-signaling in Staphylococcus aureus, (2) characterizing the role and regulation of cell death in Streptococcus mutans biofilms, and (3) Investigating microgravity effects on S. mutans physiology, gene expression, and biofilm development.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 4203 – Bacterial and Viral Pathogens
    MCB 5205 – Microbiology of Human Pathogens

    352-392-1192
    Google Scholar Profile
    kcrice@ufl.edu

    Tony Romeo

    Tony Romeo

    General area:
    We study regulatory mechanisms by which microbes sense changes in the environment and respond by modifying their behavior and metabolism. Of greatest interest are the global regulatory systems that coordinate expression of numerous genes throughout the bacterial genome. Our studies of the Csr system revealed a novel kind of global regulatory system, based on an mRNA binding protein, CsrA, and noncoding regulatory RNAs that sequester and antagonize CsrA. We are studying molecular mechanisms, regulatory circuits, and roles of Csr in bacterial virulence, biofilm formation, motility, metabolism, and quorum sensing.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 6457 – Metabolic Regulation
    MCB 6905 – Experimental Microbiology
    MCB 6937 – Special Topics in Microbiology

    352-392-2400
    Google Scholar Profile
    tromeo@ufl.edu

    K.T. Shanmugam

    K.T. Shanmugam

    General area:
    Dr. Shanmugam’s research at the University of Florida, Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels (FCRC) is focused towards metabolic engineering of bacterial biocatalysts for production of chemicals and liquid fuels at high yield and purity. More recently, the collaborative research with Dr. L. O. Ingram, director of FCRC, is focused on developing bacterial biocatalysts that produce ethanol, lactic acid, acetic acid, pyruvic acid, succinic acid, alanine, etc. His research and interests include bacterial anaerobic metabolism, dinitrogen fixation and dihydrogen production by fermentative bacteria and cyanobacteria, and molybdate transport and regulation.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 5305L – Microbial Genetics and Biotechnology Laboratory
    MCB 6465 – Microbial Metabolic Engineering

    352-392-2490
    Google Scholar Profile
    shan@ufl.edu

    Eric W. Triplett

    Eric W. Triplett

    General area:
    Dr. Triplett’s research involves unbiased approaches to assess the drivers of microbial diversity in the environment. Current environments of interest include citrus plants, soil, and the human gut microbiome. In citrus, approaches to controlling citrus greening disease are under investigation with particular emphasis on antibiotic treatments and model systems to understand the disease. In humans, the role of bacteria in the development of autoimmunity for type 1 diabetes is a strong interest as well as association of bacteria with premature birth. In soil, the drivers of diversity of archaea and nitrogen-fixing bacteria are being investigated.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 4320c – Bacterial Genome Sequencing and Analysis

    352-392-1906
    Google Scholar Profile
    ewt@ufl.edu

    Wilfred Vermerris

    Wilfred Vermerris

    General area:
    Research in Dr. Vermerris’ lab is focused on improving crops that can be used for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. He uses genetic approaches to not only improve the performance and yield of the crop, but also the bioprocessing characteristics and properties of the materials that can be produced from plant biomass. His main focus is on sweet sorghum, a tall (12-15 ft) grass that performs well in warm and dry climates. His research and interests include improvement of bioenergy crops and bio-nanotechnology.

    Teaching responsibilities include:
    MCB 4034L – Advanced Microbiology Lab
    MCB 4934 – Supervised Teaching

    352-273-8162
    Google Scholar Profile
    wev@ufl.edu

    Nian Wang

    Nian Wang

    General area:
    General area: Molecular genetics and functional genomics of plant-bacteria interactions and methods to control citrus diseases caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Citrus Greening) and Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri (Citrus Canker).

    863-956-8828
    Google Scholar Profile
    nianwang@ufl.edu

    Other Faculty

    Karim Asghari

    Applied and environmental microbiology.

    Jennifer Drew

    Education and outreach at Kennedy Space Center.
    General area: STEM Education, Genomics, and Genetics Education
    jdrew@ufl.edu
    (321) 693-5485

    Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos

    Microbiology, biochemical engineering.

    Sheila Gomez

    Administration, Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels.

    Ismael U. Nieves

    Senior Process Engineer
    smael.nieves@ufl.edu

    Monika Oli

    Microbiology Laboratories
    (352)-392-8434
    moli@ufl.edu
    Bldg. 981, Room 1049

    Eva Czarnecka-Verner

    Plant Molecular Biology/Genetics; Gene Expression and Transcriptional Regulation.


    Affiliate/ courtesy Faculty

    Robert A. Burne -Molecular mechanisms governing the ability of bacteria that are capable of causing diseases in humans to modulate their virulence in response to environmental influences. rburne@dental.ufl.edu

    Martin Handfield – Molecular characterization of human bacterial infections using integrated tools of molecular biology, genetics and immunology. mhand@ufl.edu

    Dr. Ernest Hiebert – Molecular biology of plant viruses.

    Shouguang Jin – Microbiology, type II secretion systems.

    Richard J. Lamont -Colonization, biofilm formation and the ultimate transition of the plaque biofilm from a commensal accumulation to a pathogenic entity. Responses of epithelial cells to encroachment by bacteria, determining whether the bacteria will be constrained or will evade host innate defenses and cause tissue destruction. rlamont@dental.ufl.edu

    James Maruniak – Virology, insect pathology. Insect virus molecular biology and phylogenetics.

    Tammy Grabar – Research Development Lab Myriant Technologies. tgrabar@myriant.com

    Gregory Luli – Senior vide president, R&D Cobalt Technologies. greg.luli@cobalttech.com

    Paul Linser – Whitney Lab Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology. pjl@whitney.ufl.edu

    Ayalew Mergia – Molecular biology of retroviruses; Gene therapy.

    Andrew Ogram – Bacterial genetics of pesticide degradation, plasmid ecology.

    Gary E. Rodrick – Applied research concerning the recovery and control of public health important bacteria and parasites from seafood products.

    David. J Smith – NASA Kenedy Space Center, Microbiologist, Engineering Directorate. david.j.smith-3@naga.gov

    Max Teplitski – Biochemical strategies that eukaryotes use to disrupt gene regulation in environmental and pathogenic bacteria. maxtep@ufl.edu

    Clay B. Walker – Biofilm formation and the increased resistance to antibiotics that occurs in biofilms using an in vitro biofilm model. walkerc1@ufl.edu

    Robert J. Wooley – Engineering, consulting and development of renewable fuels and chemicals. rjwooleyphd@gmail.com

    Anita C. Wright – Pathogenesis of food borne infections, particularly aquaculture-associated disease; the genetics of virulence factors with an emphasis on bacterial polysaccharides.

    Janet K. Yamamoto – Retrovirology and viral immunology with emphasis on AIDS vaccine development and antiviral therapy , cellular and transplantation immunology.

    At a Glance

    Key Dates