Department of Microbiology and Immunology



Cynthia Leifer, PhD

Principal Investigator
Associate Professor

Jody Cameron


Erika Gruber, DVM

Graduate Student

Sean Callagy
Biological Sciences;  2017

I am developing a quantitative PCR protocol for HHV-6A genomic DNA.


HeeJin Cheon
Biological Sciences;  2016

I am studying microglia mechanosensing in context of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.


Mark Derbyshire
Biological Sciences;  2017

I am studying the effect of HHV-6A primary infection on TLRs in HEK-293 cells.


Nicholas Hatter
Biological Engineering;  2016

I am currently developing human knockout cell lines for the study of HHV-6 in the nervous system, specifically its impact on TLR9 signaling.


McKenzie Klein
English;  2016



Andrew Eng
Biological Sciences, Business;  2015

I am currently studying the chemotactic and cytokine response of microglials in the presence of CpG.


Justin Im
Biological Sciences;  2015

I am currently working with HeeJin Cheon to determine the effects of substrate stiffness on cytokine production and morphological response of microglial cells. Specifically, I am focusing on determining and improving acceptable methods to quantify changes in microglial morphology.


Clarice Lin
Biological Sciences, Food Science;  2015

In the past, I have worked on looking at the cross-talk between TLR9 and the B cell receptor (BCR), but now am looking at changes in macrophage gene expression in atherosclerosis.


Greg Poorman
Biological Sciences;  2015


Alessandra Tomasi
Biological Sciences (Microbiology), English;  2015

I am currently examining the presence and role of bioactive flagellin in the microbiome. By comparing wildtype mice to TLR5 knockout ones, we seek to determine how various species of bacteria may alter their flagellin gene expression profiles in response to host pressures.