Microbiology, chemistry and basic science

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  • Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy

Elizabeth Amin, PhD, is an associate professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Amin’s NIH/NIAID-funded research program focuses on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) agent mitigation, with anthrax, the ricin toxin, and organophosphate nerve gases such as sarin, soman and VX as primary therapeutic targets. Her main projects involve the design and optimization of small-molecule anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) inhibitors, and ricin toxin A (RTA) inhibitors, to be used as emergency therapeutics in the event of bioterror attacks, and engineering enzyme active sites to rapidly and effectively hydrolyze fast-acting nerve agents.  In addition, Amin is working on the development of new computational techniques in order to facilitate the design of anti-bioterror therapeutics targeting large metal-bearing molecules.  Additional teaching and research areas encompass the design and therapeutic effects of central nervous system (CNS) agents including mood-altering drugs. 

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  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases
  • Department of Medicine, Medical School

Brian Fife, PhD, is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases. His research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that regulate T lymphocytes during autoimmune disease. Recently, Dr. Fife and his colleagues have generated a powerful treatment protocol to selectively target autoreactive cells. Using this type of approach allows them to re-educate the immune system to selectively silence destructive immune responses. Thus in effect, restore a state of self-tolerance and prevent further tissue destruction. Fife is a member of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Immunology Research Program. 

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  • Director of Center for Immunology, MiCaB
  • Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, MiCaB

Marc Jenkins, PhD, is the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Immunology and a faculty member in the Microbiology Immunology and Cancer Biology Graduate Program (MICaB). A member of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Immunology Research Program. Dr. Jenkins investigates immune responses by antigen-specific CD4+ T and B cell activation to improve vaccines and prevent autoimmunity. He is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, an NIH NIAID MERIT Awardee, an Institute for Scientific Information Highly Cited Researcher, a Member of the Academy for Excellence in Health Research, and a Pew Scholar. 

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  • Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ned Patterson, PhD, DVM, is an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Patterson’s instructional areas include genetics, seizure disorders, and molecular medicine. Much of Patterson’s recent research focuses on understanding and treating epilepsy in dogs and as a model for human epilepsy using novel drugs and novel devices. His other clinical interests include clinical trials, endocrinology, and comparative medicine.       

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  • Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine
  • Department of Medicine, Medical School
  • Director, Program in HIV Medicine
  • Director, Clinical and Translational Research Services

Timothy Schacker, MD, has developed an internationally recognized program in translational research focused on how HIV causes immune suppression. His team made the discovery of a process of inflammatory damage in lymphatic tissues. They are currently testing novel therapies to prevent and/or reverse this process as well as slow T cell depletion. Additionally, Dr. Schacker is the principal investigator of a federally funded project designed to determine barriers to HIV eradication. His research efforts have stretched to Uganda where he has collaborated with the Joint Clinical Research Center in Kampala to study how exposure to common infections affect rates of HIV transmission and progression. 

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  • Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, Univerity of Minnesota Duluth

Kendall Wallace, PhD, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, having served as president of both certifying bodies. His research focuses on mechanisms through which foreign chemicals, including drugs and industrial and environmental pollutants, interfere with mitochondrial metabolism to bring about various metabolic diseases. Agents being investigated include anticancer and anti-AIDs drugs along with perfluorinated chemicals. Dr. Wallace is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Toxicology. Dr. Wallace has participated on numerous scientific advisory panels including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute; he has also provided expert consultation for a number of pharmaceutical and food production companies. Dr. Wallace is the founding Director of the University of Minnesota Ph.D. graduate program in Toxicology.