Faculty Name & Contact Information Research Interests
Eric Boyd PhD

Diane Bimczok, D.V.M., Ph. D.
Assistant Professor

406-994-4928
diane.bimczok@montana.edu

The Bimczok Lab is interested in the regulations of gastric antigen-presenting cell function in human H. pylori infection.

Eric Boyd PhD

Eric Boyd, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

406-994-7046
eboyd@montana.edu
 

Research in the Boyd Geobiology Group is focused on the ecology and evolution of extremophiles, metalloprotein evolution, astrobiology, and biotechnology. 

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Sara Branco, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - arriving fall 2017

406-994-2902
sara.mayer.branco@gmail.com

The Branco Lab studies the ecology and evolution of fungi. Specifically, we investigate how fungi colonize and persist in the environment, and are particularly interested in understanding the ecological factors determining fungal diversity.

Mensur Dlakic, Ph.D.

Mensur Dlakic, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

406-994-6576    
mdlakic@montana.edu

The Dlakic Lab is interested in ribosome synthesis in budding yeast; Protein evolution and 3D modeling of proteins; Structural polymorphism of DNA; Comparative genomics.

Matthew W. Fields, Ph.D., Interim Department Head

Matthew W. Fields, Ph.D.
Professor                                           

406-994-7340

matthew.fields@erc.montana.edu 

The Fields Lab is interested inanaerobic microbiology, physiology, and ecology, bioremediation, environmental genomics, applied methanogenesis, and biofuels.

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Michael Franklin, Ph.D.
Professor  

406-994-5658
franklin@montana.edu
 

The Franklin Lab researches molecular genetics; microbial exopolymer production; physiology of sessile bacteria; alginate biosynthesis.

Sandra Halonen, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Sandra Halonen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor     

406-994-5351
shalonen@montana.edu 
 

Interests: Intracellular parasitism and host-parasite interactions. Research studies the interactions of T. gondii and N.canium with their host cells (neurons, astrocytes and microglia) in the central nervous system and the immune response in the brain to these parasites.

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Allen Harmsen, Ph.D.
Professor    

406-994-7626
aharmsen@montana.edu 

Research in the Harmsen Lab encompasses the areas of Pulmonary Immunology and Immunopathology. The major goal of our research is to better understand how the lung immune responses can resist infections and yet limit "collateral" host damage caused by the immune response.

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Mark Jutila, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Head

406-994-2901
mark.jutila@montana.edu  

Interests: Inflammatory disease and developmental immunology; molecular events that control leukocyte entry into sites of acute and chronic inflammation. Analyses of gamma/delta T cells in the context of host immune responses and developmental immunology.

Keil

Deborah E. Keil, Ph.D., MLS. 
Assistant Professor

Deborah.Keil@montana.edu

Interests: Environmental Toxicology, Immunotoxicology, Medical Laboratory Science, and Clinical Chemistry. 

missing photo Doug Kominsky, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

douglas.kominsky@montana.edu

The Kominsky Lab works to unravel the complex dynamics of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). These diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, have devastating impacts on people of all ages. Our research focuses on changes in microenvironmental metabolism and the role of these alterations in biological pathways that influence IBD pathogenesis.

Josh Obar

Benfang Lei, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor                                                 

406-994-6389

blei@montana.edu  

Research in my laboratory focuses on pathogenic and therapeutic studies on bacterial pathogens Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus equi. My long-term objectives are to identify and study novel virulence factors and new therapeutic targets among extracellular proteins made by S. pyogenes and S. equi.

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Raina Plowright, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

406-579-5325 
raina.plowright@montana.edu 

Research in the Plowright Lab focuses on the dynamics of infectious diseases. We integrate field, lab and modeling approaches to study the dynamics of zoonotic pathogen spillover, the dynamics of diseases in wildlife reservoirs, and the effects of diseases on wildlife health. Our work has implications for public health, veterinary health and wildlife conservation.

Mark Quinn, Ph.D., Professor

Mark Quinn, Ph.D.
Professor, WIMU Director 

406-994-4707
mquinn@exchange.montana.edu 
 

Interests:The Quinn Lab is interested in understanding microbial mechanisms utilized by the innate immune cells in defense of the host against pathogens. 

Agnieszka Rynda-Apple, Ph.D.

Agnieszka Rynda-Apple, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

406-994-7693
agnieszka.rynda@montana.edu

Interests: The Apple lab is interested in understanding how immune response to respiratory viruses shapes host susceptibility to subsequent bacterial infections.

Ed Schmidt, Associate Professor

Ed Schmidt, Ph.D.
Professor 

406-994-6375
eschmidt@montana.edu 
 

The Schmidt lab uses advanced genetically engineered mouse models to investigate the intricate mechanisms that function in development and physiology. Our approaches include genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, histology, genomics, and others. The biological processes we are studying include liver physiology and regeneration, aging, redox biology, cancer,  and embryonic development. 

Matthew Taylor, Ph.D.

Matthew Taylor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

406-994-7467
mptaylor@montana.edu

The Taylor Lab is interested in the intercellular spread of neuroinvasive viruses and how spread impacts pathogen evolution and pathogenesis.

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Jovanka Voyich-Kane, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, ANANCTR Director

406-994-7184
jovanka@montana.edu 
 

Long-term objective of research is to define the influence of sensory/regulatory systems on CA-MRSA virulence using clinically relevant strains.

Seth Walk, Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

Seth Walk, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor    

406-994-2649
seth.walk@montana.edu

The Walk Lab is interested in microbial ecology and evolution, GI tract microbiology and epidemiology of noscomial pathogens.

Blake Wiedenheft

Blake Wiedenheft, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor     

406-994-5009
bwiedenheft@gmail.com

The Wiedenheft Lab aims to determine the mechanisms of CRISPR RNA-guided adaptive immunity in bacteria and to leverage mechanistic insights for applications in genome engineering.

Kari Cargill, M.S., Academic Coordinator

Kari Cargill, M.S.
Senior Lecturer  

406-994-5675
kcargill@montana.edu

Interests: General microbiology; science education.

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Jodi Hedges, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor    

406-994-6384
jhedges@montana.edu

 

Rebecca Mattix, D.V.M. Veterinary Science

Rebecca Mattix, D.V.M. 
Assistant Professor    

406-994-5598
rmattix@exchange.montana.edu 

 

Heini Miettinen, Associate Research Professor

Heini Miettinen, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor

406-994-4014
heini@montana.edu 
 

Interests: The Miettinen Lab researches the function and regulation of human chemoattractant receptors.

KayRasmussen

Kay Rasmussen, MS, MLS(ASCP)
Instructor, MMLS Director

406-994-5664 
kay.rasmussen@montana.edu

Interests: Medical Laboratory Science Training Program; science education and research in higher education.

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Steve Swain, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor     

406-994-7693
uvsss@montana.edu 
 

 

Rhonda Carver

Rhonda Craver
MMLS Associate Director

406-994-3961
rhonda.craver@montana.edu