Greetings HUBI alumni
It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the incoming director of the Human Biology Program. I would first like to thank Prof. Andrea Wiley, under whose direction the HUBI Program has grown by leaps and bounds becoming one of the most prominent degree programs within the College of Arts and Sciences. We wish Andrea well as she returns to her home department of Anthropology, and look forward to her continued affiliation with the HUBI Program.
I have been a member of Biology faculty at IU for the past 16 years. My background is in microbiology, specifically mosquito-transmitted viruses. The research in my lab focuses on molecular factors that influence the efficiency of virus replication in mosquitoes and subsequent virus transmission. In collaboration with Dr. Irene Newton in Biology, we have recently published a manuscript that identifies molecular mechanisms by which the presence of a specific bacterium in mosquitoes prevents replication and transmission of viruses that cause human disease. The introduction of this bacterium into wild populations of mosquitoes is being implemented as a means of reducing virus-associated disease in human populations, therefore understanding how the bacterium prevents virus replication is key to the safety of such efforts.
The general themes of virus replication and transmission have been prevalent in my teaching since I joined the faculty at IU. For the Department of Biology, I taught a Virology lecture course for a number of years, and more recently I have been teaching a course on infectious diseases. I began my affiliation with the Human Biology Program in 2008, teaching a seminar section associated with B300. I was immediately enamored with the interdisciplinary approach promoted by the program, and the engagement displayed by the students. Since that time, I have taught a number of HUBI classes, most recently a section of B400 in fall of 2016, and I am looking forward to teaching another B400 on the Biology of AIDS this coming fall.