VI4 Spotlight

VI4 Spotlight is where you can find the latest news and happenings at the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation. 

Faculty Spotlight: Brian O. Bachmann, Ph.D.

VI4 Curation Team
April 8, 2021

Brian Bachmann received his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in 2000 and is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He is the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Biosynthetic Studies, a multidisciplinary group working on the construction and deconstruction of biosynthetic pathways and the discovery of their products. The broad goals of this group are to investigate how natural product biosynthetic enzymes evolve and to understand the design rules for their concatenation into efficient “total syntheses” of natural products... Click Dr. Bachmann's photo to continue reading.

Faculty Spotlight: Maureen Anne Gannon, Ph.D.

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March 23, 2021

Maureen Gannon grew up in Queens, New York. She received her B.S. in Biology from Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY and her M.S. in Biology from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. She received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Anatomy from Cornell University. Her thesis project, conducted in the lab of Dr. David Bader, examined cardiac organogenesis and the formation of the chambers of the heart in the developing embryo. Dr. Gannon pursued her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Wright at Vanderbilt University, where she studied genes that regulate embryonic pancreas development and expression of the insulin gene... Click Dr. Gannon's photo to continue reading.

Postdoc Spotlight: Karissa Cross, Ph.D.

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March 16, 2021

Karissa is a first-generation college student from Murphy, North Carolina. She started off her undergraduate journey at Young Harris College in north Georgia and then transferred to North Carolina State University to pursue her BS in microbiology. After graduating she then attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to pursue her PhD in microbiology. During this time, she worked with Dr. Mircea Podar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop methods to culture the yet-uncultured bacteria in the human oral cavity and investigate what changes bacteria undergo when transitioning to host-associated environments. In June of 2019, Karissa came to Vanderbilt University to pursue a postdoctoral position with Dr. Seth Bordenstein, and to continue her interests in studying microorganisms at the host-microbe interface using the Nasonia parasitoid wasp model system... Click the image on the left to continue reading

Graduate Student Spotlight: Darian Thomas

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February 22, 2021

Darian is originally from Spartanburg, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Clemson University in 2018. She is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP). Darian is part of the Maureen Gannon lab where she investigates how maternal diet and metformin intake influence pancreatic beta cell development in offspring. They work in a multi-institutional non human primate consortium that investigates the impact of in utero exposure to diet on fetal development... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

Faculty Spotlight: Steven D. Townsend, Ph.D.

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February 16, 2021

Steven D. Townsend is an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Townsend is an expert in the chemical synthesis of biologically important molecules. A major topic of interest for his lab is the synthesis of homogeneous human milk oligosaccharides and related constructs to investigate their use as prebiotics in infant formula. He has numerous publications in premier international journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), Angewandte Chemie International Edition and Journal of the American Chemical Society. Before being appointed to Vanderbilt in 2014, Townsend earned his PhD at Vanderbilt and then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with Samuel J. Danishefsky at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Columbia University... Click Dr. Townsend's photo to continue reading.

Postdoc Spotlight: Paulo Henrique de Melo, Ph.D.

VI4 Curation Team
January 19, 2021

Paulo Henrique de Melo, Ph.D. completed his undergraduate degree at Centro Universitário de Araraquara.  He did his Ph.D. at Universidade de São Paulo in Immunology. Paulo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Carlos Henrique Serezani, Ph.D.... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

Faculty Spotlight: Ann Tate, Ph.D.

VI4 Curation Team
January 6, 2021

Dr. Ann Tate is an Assistant Professor in the Vanderbilt University Department of Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding reciprocal ecological and evolutionary feedbacks between hosts and parasites, using a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches to zoom back and forth between the molecular details and the population level processes. Before moving to Vanderbilt Dr. Tate was a USDA NIFA postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston, mentored by Tim Cooper. She completed her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, and received her B.S. from Rice University.... Click Dr. Tate's photo to continue reading.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Graces Morales

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December 15, 2020

Grace is originally from Northern Virginia, but she earned her BS in Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York in 2018. Grace worked under Dr. Andre Hudson while in school. She then immediately joined Vanderbilt University in 2018 through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), and joined the Microbe-Host Interactions (MHI) Ph.D. graduate program. In the Schmitz and Hadjifrangiskou labs, Grace works on defining a molecular signature for uropathogenic E. coli. She utilizes bioinformatics and bacterial genetics techniques... Click the image on the left to continue reading.

How does a mRNA vaccine compare to a traditional vaccine?

November 16, 2020

VI4 and the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program partnered to create this infographic, which outlines the key attributes of mRNA vaccines compared with traditional vaccines. This infographic aims to present the information in lay terms for the general public. Click the image to the left to learn more and to share with your social networks!

Postdoc Spotlight: Dudley McNitt, Ph.D.

VI4 Curation Team
November 13, 2020

Dudley McNitt, Ph.D. completed his undergraduate degree in Biology from University of Pittsburgh. He did his Ph.D. at West Virginia University in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis. Dudley is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of James W. Thomas II, M.D... Click the image on the left to continue reading.