Faculty

 Faculty Name Research Interests
Eric Boyd PhD

Eric Boyd, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

406-994-7046
eboyd@montana.edu
 

Interests Environmental Microbiology

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Keith Cooksey, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus      

umbkc@gemini.msu.montana.edu 

 

Mensur Dlakic, Ph.D.

Mensur Dlakic, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

406-994-6576    
mdlakic@gemini.msu.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.
Associate 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.

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Gill Geesey, Ph.D
Professor    

406-994-3820
ggeesey@montana.edu 
 

The Geesey Lab is interested in metal and radionuclide transformations by iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria in sub-surface environments.

Sandra Halonen, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Sandra Halonen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor     

40-994-5351
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 

 

Al Jesaitis, Ph.D., Professor

Al Jesaitis, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus     

406-994-4811 
umbaj@montana.edu 
 

Interests: Molecular basis of signal transduction; host defense in human neutrophils.

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Ryan Jones, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor 

drryanjones@gmail.com 

 

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Mark Jutila, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Head

406-994-2901
uvsmj@gemini.msu.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.

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

Deborah.Keil@montana.edu

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

Benfang Lei, Associate Professor

Benfang Lei, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

406-994-6389
blei@montana.edu 
 

 

Josh Obar

Joshua Obar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

406-994-5667
joshua.obar@montana.edu
 

The goal of our laboratory is to understand the immune response against microbial infections. The immune system is critical in protecting the host against microbial infections, but an uncontrolled immune response can also be detrimental to the host. Our laboratory is currently focused on understanding how the immune system balances clearing a pathogen without inducing too much tissue immunopathology.

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Raina Plowright, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

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

 

Mark Quinn, Ph.D., Professor

Mark Quinn, Ph.D.
Professor 

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

Interests: Understanding microbicidal mechanisms utilized by innate immune cells in defense of host against pathogens.

Ed Schmidt, Associate Professor

Ed Schimidt, Ph.D.
Professor 

406-994-6375
eschmidt@montana.edu 
 

 

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

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 
 

Interests: 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 
 

 

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Barbara Hudson, Ed.D, M.S.
Adjunct Instructor, MMLS Director 

406-994-5664 
bhudson@montana.edu  

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

Rebecca Mattix, D.V.M. Veterinary Science

Rebecca Mattix, D.V.M. 
Assistant Professor    

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

 

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Nicole Meissner-Pearson, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor     

406-994-6382
natascha.meissner@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.

Agnieszka Rynda-Apple, Ph.D.

Agnieszka Rynda-Apple, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor

406-994-7697
agnieszka.rynda@montana.edu 
 

 

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Steve Swain, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor     

406-994-7693
uvsss@montana.edu 
 

 

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James Wiley, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor     

406-994-6390
jwiley@montana.edu 
 

 

Rhonda Carver

Rhonda Craver
MMLS Associate Director      

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

 

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Karen Flint
MMLS Instructor

 406-994-3961

 

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Anne Camper, Ph.D., 
Affiliate Professor, Assoc. Dean of Eng. 

406-994-4906
anne_c@biofilm.montana.edu 

Interests: Biofilm growth and control in drinking and industrial water systems; the fate, transport and survival of pathogens in biofilm systems; and the physiology of biofilm bacteria.

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John Peters, Ph.D.
Affiliate Professor   

406-994-7213
john.peters@chemistry.montana.edu 
 

The Peters Lab is interested in hydrogen metabolism and nitrogen fixation in thermal environments.

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Brent Peyton, Ph.D. 
Affiliate Professor, Thermal Biology Institute Director   

406-994-7419
bpeyton@coe.montana.edu 
 

Interests: Fundamental and applied research in the areas of biofuels, extremophilic bioprocessing, and in situ biocatalyzed heavy metal transformations.

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Timothy R. McDermott, Ph.D.
Affiliate Professor      

406-994-2190
timmcder@montana.edu 
 

Interests: Soil & environmental microbiology, focusing on: microbe-metalloid interactions involving arsenic, selenium, and antimony; microbial ecophysiology and population genetics in geothermal environments.

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Dave Ward, Ph.D.
Affiliate Professor   

406-994-3401
umbdw@montana.edu 
 

Interests: To understand microbial diversity as it really occurs in nature as a consequence of ecological and evolutionary processes.

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Mark Young, Ph.D.
Affiliate Professor     

406-994-5158
myoung@montana.edu 
 

Interests: Utilize viruses to understand viral diseases as model systems to explore cell biology. Combines biochemical & genetic approaches to examine the interplay of viral and host gene products.

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Carl Yeoman, Ph.D.
Affiliate Assistant Professor   

406-994-7440
carl.yeoman@montana.edu 
 

Interests: Molecular techniques to examine the microbial ecology associated with animal systems. My specific focus is on the microbial ecosystems of the gut and their role in health, nutrition and performance and those occupying the vaginal tract and their relation to reproductive performance.

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Bruce Granger, Ph.D.
406-994-3967     

bgranger@montana.edu 

Research Associate