Alejandro Aballay, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
  • Chair, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Dr. Alejandro Aballay is Professor and Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. In addition to direct experience as a graduate student mentor, Dr. Aballay has experience in different aspects of graduate education. He has served as a member of the executive, advisory, and admissions committees in 4 at least different graduate programs, and as thesis committee member for 18 graduate students. Dr. Aballay has lectured about host-microbial interactions for different graduate courses, and as a visiting Professor at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He served as the course Director of the Duke Medical School Microbiology course for 4 years. Dr. Aballay has made numerous contributions to the field of host-microbial interactions, focusing historically on bacterial virulence factors and their targets in host cells but more recently on neuronal signaling mechanisms of control of immune responses against bacterial pathogens and mechanisms involved in the control of recovery after infections. Dr. Aballay’s contributions include publications in several journals of broad interest, including Science, Developmental Cell, PNAS, and Current Biology.

Honors and awards

  • Dr. Aballay is a recipient of a number of awards, including: 2017 American Society for Microbiology fellowship, 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellowship, 2009, Neuroimmunology of Brain Infections and Cancers Award, 2009 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Early Career Scientist Competition-Semifinalist, 2005 ICAAC Young Investigator Award, 2003 Whitehead Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, 1998 Pew Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Areas of interest

  • host-pathogen interactions, neural-immune communications, neuroinflammation, infections, bacterial pathogenesis, organismal response to infections



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