Infectious Disease

Multiple departmental faculty perform research related to current challenges in infectious disease diagnosis, treatment, and control. In these activities the faculty use the same portfolio of cross disciplinary tools applied to most areas of modern biochemistry, including tools relevant to protein engineering, molecular biology, bioinformatics, biophysics, and many others. Training in infectious disease research provides exposure to a broad array of cutting edge basic and clinical research tools. The range of infectious disease research topics explored in our department (see faculty list below) includes:

  • understanding the complex set of disease states induced by viruses such as hepatitis C virus,
  • the basic DNA replication and metabolic processes used by bacteria for rapid growth and response to environmental stress,
  • how metabolomics can be used to better diagnose pneumonia and other common infectious diseases, and
  • the biochemistry, genetics, and physiology behind antimalarial drug resistance.

Additional collaborative activities extending to other departments within and outside GUMC include design of new drugs for treating malaria and other infectious diseases, as well as field work to understand patterns in the spread of re emerging infectious diseases. Several faculty are investigating the use of natural products as novel drugs against infectious diseases.

Several BMCB faculty that perform research related to infectious disease are also active in the Georgetown Center for Infectious Disease (CID). This is a cross campus, cross disciplinary center that combines expertise in basic research, clinical research, law, policy and ethics to both encourage interdisciplinary work in infectious disease and promote better understanding of current issues in Global Health. The flagship educational initiative of the CID is the PhD program in Global Infectious Diseases.

Faculty with a Research Interest in Infectious Disease

  • Elliott Crooke [Professor]
    Bacterial DNA replication and environmental stress.
  • Mark Danielsen [Associate Professor]
    Bioinformatics; virus comparative genomics; pathogen detection in biodefense and medical molecular diagnostics.
  • Albert Fornace, Jr. [Professor]
    Metabolomics; serum molecular markers for infectious diseases.
  • Radoslav Goldman [Professor]
    Hepatitis C virus and hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Hiroshi Nakai [Professor]
    Bacterial metabolism and genomics.
  • Paul Roepe [Professor]
    Apicomplexan parasite biochemistry; malaria; drug resistance; drug design and synthesis.
  • Cathy Wu [Adjunct Professor]
    Bioinformatics; virus comparative genomics.