Dr. Bridget Barker received her B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Ecological Genetics from the University of Montana and completed her Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Arizona in 2009 on genomics of Coccidioides spp. She completed her postdoctoral work at Montana State University in Aspergillus fumigatus in the lab of Dr. Robert Cramer. In 2013, she joined the faculty at TGEN-North, and in 2016 she became tenure track faculty at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in the Pathogen and Mi-crobiome Institute (PMI) in the Department of Biological Sciences. In 2020, she was promoted to Associate Professor. Dr. Barker has extensive experience with ge-nomics, bioinformatics, population and molecular genetics, and evolutionary biolo-gy. Her background in microbiology, work with fungal pathogens, and computa-tional biology allowed her to develop and bring these new techniques to the field of Valley Fever research.
Jed Bayasi graduated from medical school in 1993, internal medicine training in Michigan 2019, pulmonary training in New York 2001, and critical care training in Tucson Arizona 2007.
Our research group studies the interface between the immune system and the world around us, on us, or within us. My work utilizes genomics, transcriptomics and immunomics approaches to understand the complex molecular interplay between our genetics, gene expression changes, and the immune system. Autoimmune and oncology patients undergoing therapeutics intervention to treat those diseases, are often more susceptible to infection. We study how patients' genes interface with their treatment to alter their susceptibility to Valley Fever infections.
Dr. Butkiewicz is an Associate Research Scientist working in the Shubitz lab at the Valley Fever Center for Excellence. She works with animal models on the host-fungus interaction. Also a practicing veterinarian, she has a particular interest in research to improve the outcome of animals with Valley Fever.
Jon Chorover is a soil biogeochemist whose research team focuses on chemical and biological properties and processes that control the transport and fate of nutrients, pollutants, and carbon in soil systems. Soil and climatic properties exert strong controls on microbial colonization, including for Coccidioides sp., the spore forming fungus causing Valley Fever.
Tobias Fauser is a 4th year medical student interested in surgery. and has a background in engineering and medical research. Tobias currently works with physician scientists Dr. Worrell and Dr. Liechty who are specialists in thoracic surgery and pediatric surgery, respectively.
Professor Matthew Fraser is an expert in the chemical composition, sources and transport of atmospheric aerosols. His research focuses on detailed chemical compositional analysis to quantify air pollution sources, track atmospheric transport of pollution and chemical conversion of airborne contaminants. With recent work, Prof. Fraser has collaborated to improve the understanding of the biological components in airborne particles.
Dr. Galgiani has been working with Valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) for the last four decades. As Director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence his passion is research in the treatment of Valley fever. This involves studies to improve the detection of the fungus in the environment, to increase the sensitivity of diagnostic tests for patients, and to develop a vaccine to prevent the disease in both humans and animals.
Dr. Kerry Hamilton is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School for Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the Biodesign Institute Center for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University. She received her doctoral degree in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University in 2016 and Master of Health Science (MHS) degree in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Australia in 2015 and Public Health Fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency from 2009-2011. Her research interests are in the areas of environmental microbiology, water quality, risk assessment, and decision analysis.
Pierre Herckes is a professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and an affiliate professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. His research interests lie in atmospheric chemistry, specifically aerosols and clouds, as well as aerosol-cloud interactions and their impact on air quality and climate. A substantial portion of his research is devoted to applied projects that aim to address air pollution issues. Another research focus is on analytical chemistry, developing tools to investigate the sources, occurrence, and fate of pollutants in the environment. Recently, his work has focused on detecting emerging contaminants such as nitrosamines or nanomaterials in environmental and biological samples. He also puts a significant effort into applied projects related to water quality and human exposure.
Dr. Herckes holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from EHICS Strasbourg and MS and PhD degrees in Environmental Physical Chemistry from Strasbourg University in France. Prior to joining the faculty at ASU, he was a postdoc and research scientist in the Atmospheric Science Department at Colorado State University
Voichita Ianas graduated from Infectious Disease fellowship at The University of Arizona in 2010 and has been working as an ID physician in Maricopa county since then. Encounters often occur with patients with coccidioidomycosis; Voichita helps with diagnosis and treatment and is grateful to work for Indian Health currently and take care of diverse infections in Native Americans, including Valley fever. There is a significant increased rate of hospitalization and mortality of coccidioidomycosis among Native patients.
Stephen Albert Johnston is the inventor of the Calviri's central technologies. In addition to Calviri, he has been a founder of Eliance, Inc. (Macrogenics), Synbody Biotechnology and HealthTell, Inc. He is Director of the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute's Center for Innovations in Medicine and Professor in the School of Life Sciences. He has published almost 200 peer-reviewed papers and holds 45 patents. Prior to his appointment at ASU he was Professor and Director of the Center for Biomedical Inventions at UT-Southwestern Medical Center and Professor of Biology and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. He is a member of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Johnston received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
Doug Lake is a cellular and molecular immunologist. He has been working on various aspects of Valley Fever since 1997. He received a BS degree in Microbiology from Texas Tech University in 1986 and his PhD from University of Arizona in 1993 in Immunology. His interests include antibody and T cell engineering, tumor immunology and the immunology of infectious diseases. He is currently director of the Microbiology Graduate Program at Arizona State University. The idea that accurate diagnosis is key to appropriate treatment drives Dr. Lake's research program.
D. Mitchell Magee attended the University of Texas Medical Branch and obtained a B.S. in Medical Technology. After several years' experience in clinical and research laboratories, he matriculated to Texas A&M University and obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology. His post-doctoral fellowship was performed at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been working extensively in interdisciplinary teams for high-throughput sample handling and analysis efforts. He has more than 20 years' experience in studying Coccidioides immunobiology including growth and extraction of fungal extracts, recombinant cloning of immunodominant antigens and evaluating the protective immune response in animal models of coccidioidomycosis. Additional experience with high throughput functional studies occurred in several projects of vaccine candidate discovery in models of coccidioidomycosis, smallpox, and glanders. These studies combined efforts of bioinformatics, molecular biologists and biologists to identify immunodominant proteins functionally through their protective effects against microbial challenge. Most recently, he has utilized protein microarrays to probe the immune response of patients or animal models of disease to identify immunodominant proteins in patients or animals during disease progression.
Dr. Orbach received his PhD at Stanford University studying molecular genetics of Neurospora crassa and did postdoctoral research at the Dupont Experimental Station on avirulence and pathogenicity of the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. At the University of Arizona his laboratory has studied virulence factors in a number of fungal pathogens, focusing on M. oryzae, Aspergillus flavus and Coccidioides species. While evaluating conserved fungal virulence factors, his laboratory discovered that deletion of the cps1 gene in C. posadasii produced an avirulent strain that provided protection against subsequent infection by wild type strains. This has led to development of the delta-cps1 strain as a live attenuated vaccine against Coccidioidomycosis.
Rob Root is a geochemist with a research focus on molecular-scale mechanisms of biogeochemical cycling of trace contaminants and nutrients in the environment and mineral weathering reactions at the rock-water interface.
Dr. Sahl is an Associate Professor at the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University. His research focuses on the comparative genomics of infectious disease agents to develop better diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. He’s currently analyzing large Coccidioides genomics datasets in order to characterize pathogen risk for vulnerable populations.
Dr. Lisa Shubitz works on a live, avirulent mutant vaccine to prevent Valley Fever in dogs and people; mouse modeling of coccidioidomycosis to study host immunity, vaccine responses, fungal pathogenesis, immunogenetic susceptibility, and test potential new therapeutics. Dr. Shubitz also does clinical research, mainly in dogs, that help improve clinical care, such as investigation of diagnostic tests and therapeutics as well as the Canine Valley Fever Vaccine. She also consults on veterinary Valley Fever cases, which assists in translational aspects of research into clinical practice.
Kieran Sikdar has over 20 years of experience using decentralized, regenerative solutions to solve stormwater management and natural resource challenges. A certified floodplain manager, water harvesting professional, and permaculture designer, Kieran is experienced in water quality, water security, and water conservation program development, design, policy, best practices, stakeholder engagement, and training. He has worked from the home-scale to the basin-scale in watershed planning and engineering design, focusing on regenerative solutions with green infrastructure (GI) and low impact development (LID). He serves on the Pima County Regional Flood Control District Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District.
Dr. Dave Wagner is a Professor of Biological Sciences, and the Director of the Biodefense and Disease Ecology Center at the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University. He holds undergraduate degrees from Concordia University in Nebraska and graduate degrees from Southern Illinois University and Northern Arizona University. His research interests include the ecology and evolutionary history of pathogens and the development and implementation of genetic typing systems for the detection and characterization of these species.
Michael E. Woods, PhD is the Assistant Dean of Preclinical Education and an Associate Professor of Pathology at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dr. Woods earned a B.S. in Microbiology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He was an Association of Public Health Labs Emerging Infectious Disease Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Vector-borne Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to joining Burrell College, Dr. Woods was a scientific staff member in the Chemical and Biological Threat Awareness Program, Global Security Principal Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he worked on issues relevant to biodefense.