Our research has a global impact.

By investigating how different microbes cause disease, scientists in this research group strive to create new knowledge and apply it to scientific advances across patient care, academia and private industries. Breakthroughs include shedding light on common vector-borne illnesses and developing vaccines for Lyme and other arthropod diseases.  

Major areas of study within this research group include: 

    • Arthropod-borne diseases
    • Bacterial vaccine development and diagnostics 
    • Host-pathogen interactions and molecular pathogenesis
    • Human microbiome science and microbial genomics

Partners and Collaborators

We are proud to work with centers, institutes and other interdisciplinary collaborations across VCU to train the next generation of scientists and make discoveries that will improve patient outcomes.

Labs and Facilities

As members of the broader VCU research community, students, faculty and trainees in the department have access to state-of-the-art facilities across the MCV Campus.

Learn more about core laboratories and other resources.

Faculty

Explore faculty research interests and recent publications by clicking the photos below.

Gregory A. Buck, Ph.D.

Gregory A. Buck, Ph.D.

Professor

Gregory A. Buck, Ph.D.

Gregory A. Buck, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Department of Computer Science
Director, Center for Microbiome Engineering & Data Analysis

Research Interests
    • Human microbiome and its impact on health
    • Obstetric and gynecologic health
    • Molecular parasitology
    • Microbial pathogenesis
    • Viral genomics and evolution

Email: gregory.buck@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Jason A. Carlyon, Ph.D.

Jason A. Carlyon, Ph.D.

Professor

Jason A. Carlyon, Ph.D.

Jason A. Carlyon, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Twitter: @CarlyonLab

Research Interests
    • Host-intracellular bacterial pathogen interactions
    • Molecular pathogenesis of granulocytic anaplasmosis
    • Molecular pathogenesis of scrub typhus
    • Vaccine development for arthropod-transmitted infections

Email: jason.carlyon@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Phillip Hylemon, Ph.D.

Phillip Hylemon, Ph.D.

Professor

Phillip Hylemon, Ph.D.

Phillip Hylemon, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests
    • Gut microbiome’s role in health and disease
    • Bile acid metabolism by gut bacteria
    • Bile acid-activated cell signaling pathways and liver disease
    • Clostridium difficile, endogenous antibiotics and secondary bile acids

Email: phillip.hylemon@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Kimberly Jefferson, Ph.D.

Kimberly Jefferson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Kimberly Jefferson, Ph.D.

Kimberly Jefferson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Graduate Program Director of Admissions

Research Interests
    • Infectious causes of preterm birth
    • Bacterial virulence factors
    • Pore-forming toxin in bacteria associated with vaginosis, preterm birth and pregnancy complications

Email: kimberly.jefferson@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Eun Lee, Ph.D.

Eun Lee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Eun Lee, Ph.D.

Eun Lee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests
    • Immunological consequences of pregnancy-related diseases (preeclampsia, IUGR, preterm birth and spontaneous miscarriage)
    • Functional roles of ERAP2 in peptide processing and presentation to immune cells
    • Targeting ERAP2 to develop translational cancer therapy

Email: eun.lee@vcuealth.org

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Publications

Masoud H. Manjili, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Masoud H. Manjili, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Professor

Masoud H. Manjili, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Masoud H. Manjili, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests
    • Immunotherapeutic targeting of cancer dormancy
    • Hepatic immunological patterns associated with fatty liver disease and liver cancer
    • The adaptation model of immunity

Email: masoud.manjili@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Richard T Marconi, Ph.D.

Richard T Marconi, Ph.D.

Professor

Richard T Marconi, Ph.D.

Richard T Marconi, Ph.D.

Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests
    • Lyme and tick-borne diseases
    • Bacterial vaccine and diagnostic assay development
    • Protein structure function and its relationship to virulence
    • Genetic regulatory mechanisms of pathogenic spirochetes
    • Molecular pathogenesis of periodontal disease

Email: richard.marconi@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Rebecca K. Martin, Ph.D.

Rebecca K. Martin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Rebecca K. Martin, Ph.D.

Rebecca K. Martin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Director, Flow Cytometry Shared Resource, Massey Cancer Center
Scientific Director, VCU Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program

Email: rebecca.martin@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Rebecca Martin Lab

Daniel P. Miller, Ph.D.

Daniel P. Miller, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Daniel P. Miller, Ph.D.

Daniel P. Miller, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Philips Institute for Oral Health Research

Research Interests
    • Host-pathogen interactions
    • Polymicrobial interactions in subgingival biofilms that promote periodontal disease
    • Signaling events that promote growth of oral bacteria

Email: daniel.miller@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Dennis E. Ohman, Ph.D.

Dennis E. Ohman, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Dennis E. Ohman, Ph.D.

Dennis E. Ohman, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Email: dennis.ohman@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Myrna G. Serrano, Ph.D.

Myrna G. Serrano, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Myrna G. Serrano, Ph.D.

Myrna G. Serrano, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests
    • Impact of the vaginal microbiome on women’s health and pregnancy
    • Microbial genome biology
    • Integrative genomics, bioinformatics and kinetoplast evolution

Email: myrna.serrano@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Lisa S. Shock, Ph.D.

Lisa S. Shock, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Lisa S. Shock, Ph.D.

Lisa S. Shock, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Graduate Program Director

Research Interests:
    • Epigenetics
    • Mitochondria and cell metabolism
    • Cancer biology

Email: lisa.shock@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Huiping Zhou, Ph.D., AGAF, FAASLD

Huiping Zhou, Ph.D., AGAF, FAASLD

Professor

Huiping Zhou, Ph.D., AGAF, FAASLD

Huiping Zhou, Ph.D., AGAF, FAASLD

Professor

Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Interests
    • Bile acids and sphingolipids in liver diseases
    • Long noncoding RNA H19 in cholestatic liver disease
    • Circular RNA in NAFLD and cholestatic liver disease
    • Bile acids and sphingolipid in NASH-HCC and cholangiocarcinoma

Email: huiping.zhou@vcuhealth.org

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Publications

Huiping Lab