Stenzel-PooreMicrobiology and Immunology are disciplines that are key to our understanding of basic life processes and to our quest to improve human health. One has only to consider some of the most important public health problems to realize the relevance of these two fields to modern medicine: there is no cure for many of the major diseases such as AIDS and cancer; as many as one in five young adults in this country may be infected with a sexually transmitted virus; and infection by multiple-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis has raised grave concerns in our nation's hospitals. Because we live in a nation with excellent sanitary conditions and have access to high quality health care, many of us are unaware that, world-wide, more people die of infectious diseases than of cancer or heart disease. Read more

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Fikadu Tafesse, Ph.D.We are delighted to announce Fikadu Tafesse, Ph.D., as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, as of February 2016. Fikadu comes from Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard. His research goals are directed toward understanding how pathogens - mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis - utilize host cellular processes during infection and ways to harness these mechanisms to develop therapeutic strategies to counteract diseases. His post-doctoral work in the lab of Hidde Ploegh at the Whitehead Institute of MIT aimed at identification and characterization of host factors including the various host metabolites/lipids during infections of influenza virus, bacterial toxins and the pathogenic fungi C. albicans. Originally from Ethiopia, Fikadu was drawn to working on M. tuberculosis because it is endemic in that region of the world.

Tim NiceWe are excited to to welcome Tim Nice, Ph.D., to the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology. He is joining OHSU from the completion of a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. “Skip” Virgin at Washington University School of Medicine, where he established the murine norovirus (MNoV) model of persistent enteric viral infection. 

Noroviruses and other enteric viruses are a major public health burden worldwide. Dr. Nice is using this MNoV model system to identify a role for interferon lambda (IFNλ) in innate immune control and clearance of persistent MNoV infection. His research will focus specifically on defining innate immune mechanisms by which IFNλ clears persistent MNoV infection, and more broadly on host-microbe interactions that regulate viral infection and shedding at mucosal surfaces.

A warm welcome to our newest faculty members!