LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease

Established in 2013, the John Ring LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease (CID) bridges the gap between basic and translational research into microbial and viral pathogenesis. These efforts also include characterizing and predicting the spread of infectious diseases through populations, and supporting programs to define the human and animal responses to challenge by infectious agents and how human genetics impact susceptibility to infection. 

The long-term goals of the CID are to promote interdisciplinary infectious disease research throughout the university; establish mentoring programs for undergraduates, graduate students, health professionals, and junior faculty; build ties to local and national medical centers; facilitate the submission of program project and training grants; and translate the results of research into clinical and public health practice.

The CID will stress an interdisciplinary approach, promoting projects that span the boundaries of traditional scientific fields.

The Center is supported in part through distributions from the John Ring LaMontagne Memorial Chair in Infectious Disease and Global Health, established in loving memory of Dr. John R. LaMontagne by family, friends and colleagues in 2006.

CENTER OBJECTIVES

  • To create a Center of national prominence in infectious diseases.
  • To provide networking opportunities for infectious disease research laboratories.
  • To synergize infectious disease efforts on campus and provide a focal point for outreach into the Austin medical community. With plans for a medical school in Austin in the near future, it is essential that UT-Austin establish an infectious disease focus group to interface with clinicians and provide research and teaching support. We anticipate providing infectious disease research training to health professionals, including medical students and medical residents. Such ties can go both ways, and will provide our pre-medical and public health undergraduate students with venues to pursue research and career development.
  • To provide an environment where undergraduates and professional trainees develop critical research skills through participation as investigators in original projects. This will include fostering FRI Streams in infectious disease research, and application for T32 NIH training grants to support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in infectious disease.
  • To stimulate outreach of CID researchers to external audiences, and to provide a rational voice for interfacing with the public and the media on frequently complex issues relating to infectious disease. In this regard, we anticipate having a regular newsletter that both promotes campus research and provides insights into disease that will be of interest to the general public.
  • To provide an organizing Center for translational opportunities, including providing access to animal models for testing prophylactic and therapeutic countermeasures, for developing strategies for research translation into the clinic, and for improving clinical and public health practices.
  • To foster academic interest in infectious diseases through seminars and colloquia at the interface of basic and clinical research.

MEMBERSHIP

Director

Marvin Whiteley, Professor, Molecular Biosciences

Associate Director

Howard Ochman, Professor, Integrative Biology

Advisory Board

An advisory board has been established to provide input and guidance in all center endeavors. This board is composed of four highly accomplished UT Austin faculty members representing the three core colleges; the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and the Cockrell School of Engineering. These faculty, in addition to five additional researchers, comprise the initial membership of the center:

Shelley Payne, Professor, Molecular Biosciences (Natural Sciences)

Andy Ellington, Professor, Molecular Biosciences (Natural Sciences)

Walter Fast, Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemistry (Pharmacy)

George Georgiou, Professor, Chemical Engineering (Engineering and Natural Sciences)

Croyle, Maria
DAVIES, BRYAN W
Bryan W Davies
Assistant Professor

DUDLEY, JAQUELIN P
Jaquelin P Dudley
Professor

Molecular biology and pathogenesis of retroviruses
EHRLICH, LAUREN I
Lauren I Ehrlich
Associate Professor

Thymocyte: stromal cell interactions in T cell development and T-ALL
ELLINGTON, ANDREW
Fast, Walter
Walter L Fast
Professor

GEORGIOU, GEORGE
HARSHEY, RASIKA M
Rasika M Harshey
Professor

DNA transposition, Replicative repair, flagella motility and signaling, bacterial surface colonization
HUIBREGTSE, JON M
Jon M Huibregtse
Director, Professor

KRUG, ROBERT M
Robert M Krug
Professor Emeritus

McLellan, Jason
Jason McLellan
(Future) Associate Professor

MEYERS, LAUREN A
MOLINEUX, IAN J
Ian J Molineux
Professor

Mechanisms of phage infection and genome ejection in vivo; phage evolutionary genetics and applications of phage
Moran, Nancy
Nancy A Moran
Professor

Insect and bacterial genomics and evolution, Symbiosis
Ochman, Howard
Howard Ochman
Professor

Olmer, Brandy
Brandy A Olmer
Senior Program Coordinator

Palmer, Gregory
Gregory C Palmer
Clinical Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Clinical Educator)

Research Educator for the Antibiotics Freshman Research Initiative stream, where students isolate antibiotic-producing soil bacteria
PAYNE, SHELLEY M
Shelley M Payne
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professor

Microbiology, Infectious diseases
Smyth, Hugh
Hugh D Smyth
Associate Professor

SULLIVAN, CHRISTOPHER S
Christopher S Sullivan
Associate Professor

Our lab aims to understand how DNA tumor viruses interact with host RNAi machineries to replicate, induce tumors, and cause pathogenesis.
Syrett, Heather
TUCKER, Haley O
Haley Tucker
Professor

UPTON, JASON
Jason Upton
Assistant Professor

Programmed cell death in viral pathogenesis and disease