Faculty

Tenured/Tenure Accruing Faculty

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
 
General area:
The Christner Research Group is interested in the physiology, ecology, biogeochemistry, and molecular adaptations of microorganisms inhabiting environments of the cryosphere and atmosphere. Using a combination of laboratory and field-based research, we seek to elucidate the novel properties of microorganisms that survive under low extremes of temperature and water/energy availability.





Visit the CRG website for more information


352-392-1179
Google Scholar Profile
xner@ufl.edu
 
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.

Teaching responsibilities include:
MCB4934 R for functional genomics


352 273 8230
Google Scholar Profile
aconesa@ufl.edu
 
General area:
The Edelmann Lab is investigating the ubiquitin proteasome system in the context of host-pathogen interactions in bacterial infections. We predominantly study molecular aspects of the innate immune responses in Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and Yersinia enterocolitica infections. We also utilize tools such as chemical proteomics, shotgun proteomics or enrichment strategies to identify or quantify post-translational modifications, to better understand protein-protein interactions and to obtain enzyme activity profiles.

Seeking New Students for Current Projects

Teaching responsibilities include:
MCB 4403 - Prokaryotic Cell Structure and Function
MCB 6937 - Bacterial Physiology
MCB 6937 - Post-Translational Modifications in Microbiology


352-846-0954
Google Scholar Profile
medelmann@ufl.edu
 
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 3703 Astrobiology


321-261-3772
Google Scholar Profile
jfoster@ufl.edu
 
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
 
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
Goole Scholar Profile
wgurley@ufl.edu
 
General area:
Microorganisms are the most abundant form of life on earth. Microbes drive and connect all major element cycles on earth and are critical in health and disease. My research combines molecular microbiology, microbial physiology and biogeochemistry to advance our understanding of microorganisms in complex ecosystems. By combining Next-Generation Sequencing approaches and bioinformatics tools with classical culture-based microbiology and direct activity measurements in the environment, my research aims to understand patterns of diversity, abundance and activity of microorganisms in natural and engineered systems. My research further aims to experimentally verify these patterns in laboratory and field experiments.
The overarching questions guiding my research are as follows:
1) Which interactions occur between microorganisms and other trophic guilds and how do those interactions influence ecosystem function?
2) Which forces do global change sea level rise and human activity impose on selection of phylogenetic and metabolic diversity in marine and terrestrial habitats?
3) How do these forces reflect on community metabolism and ecosystem performance?
4) How can we harness the microbial powers to conserve ecosystem function and benefit humanity?

If you are interested in gaining research experience, or would like to know more about my research, feel free to contact me any time.

Teaching responsibilities include:
My teaching includes undergraduate- and graduate-level classes in General Microbiology and Microbial Ecology. My lab also offers research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. If you are interested in conducting research feel free to contact me any time.


Assistant Professor, Microbial Ecology
Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center
954-577-6372
Google Scholar Profile
w.martenshabbena@ufl.edu
 
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
 
My laboratory is working in two general directions. One is the structural and functional studies of membrane proteins and intracellular signaling complexes. The second general direction in my laboratory is the development of new techniques for both single particle cryoEM and for studying eukaryotic membrane proteins in lipid environments.

Students can learn more about these programs here:

Google Scholar Profile
Email: qxjiang@ufl.edu
Phone: 352-846-0953
 
General area:
Dr. Jones’ research program is focused on understanding interactions between human noroviruses and bacteria. Specifically, her lab investigates the molecular mechanisms by which this virus interacts with bacteria and how these interactions impact human norovirus survival in the environment, transmission to the host and infection of target cells.


Goole Scholar Profile
mmk@ufl.edu
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
General area:
General area: Microbial biochemistry and physiology, extremophiles, archaea, mechanisms of post-translational modification, ubiquitin-proteasome systems. Maupin Lab site




Teaching responsibilities include:
MCB 6417 - Microbial Metabolism and Energetics
MCB 6937 - Special Topics - Post-translational Modifications in Microbiology
MCB 4782 - Archaea and Biotechnology (undergraduate level)
MCB 6781 - Archaea and Biotechnology (graduate level)


352-392-4095
Google Scholar Profile
jmaupin@ufl.edu
 
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
 
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
 
General area:
The Reisch lab is interested in the design, development, and implementation of synthetic biology tools for genome editing and transcriptional control in bacteria. These tools are used to interrogate the physiology and metabolism of model bacteria. One specific area of focus is organic sulfur metabolism in marine bacteria.






352-846-0955
Google Scholar Profile
creisch@ufl.edu
 
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) Investigating the role of the cid and lrg operons in Streptococcus mutans oxidative stress resistance and interspecies competition, and (3) Characterizing archaeal nitric oxide synthase in the haloalkaliphile Natronomonas pharaonis.

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


352-392-1192
Google Scholar Profile
kcrice@ufl.edu
 
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
 
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
 
General area:
The focus of the research in my lab is on analyzing and understanding the structure and function of aquatic microbial communities. In particular, we are interested in how microbial communities and key species respond to changing environmental conditions. Current projects address 1) microdiversity and ecology of one of the most abundant groups of marine bacteria (SAR11, Pelagibacter), 2) giant bacteria and gut microbiology of surgeonfishes, and 3) the response of microbial communities to increasing salt concentrations caused by sea level rise in South Florida.


Teaching responsibilities include:
Under development.


954-577-6326
Goole Scholar Profile
ustingl@ufl.edu
 
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
 
General area:
Research in Dr. Vermerris’ lab is focused on improving sorghum for the production of renewable fuels, chemicals and polymers. Sorghum is a tall (12-15 ft) grass that performs well in environments with biotic and abiotic stresses. 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. Current efforts focus on the utilization of the lignin-rich biorefinery residues, including the development of nanomaterials with biomedical applications and improvement of the structural properties of concrete.


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



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

Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Karim Asghari

Applied and environmental microbiology.

Jennifer Drew

Lecturer and Extension Coordinator
General area: STEM Education, Genomics, and Genetics Education
jdrew@ufl.edu
(321) 693-5485

Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos

Microbiology, biochemical engineering.

Bryan Korithoski

On-Campus undergraduate student advising. PACE advising.

Sheila Gomez

Assistant Director, Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels

Monika Oli

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

Archana Pannuri

Associate IN/ Romeo Lab

Affiliate Faculty

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

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

PC Pullammanappallil – Waste management and biofuels.

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