FowellDeborah Fowell
Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology, Ithaca

Fowell received a B.Sc. degree in Cellular Pathology from Bristol University in the UK in 1988 and was awarded a D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1992. She performed postdoctoral studies at Oxford University and at the University of California, San Francisco. Fowell assumed her position as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell University in October 2020. She was previously the Dean’s Professor in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester. The Fowell lab investigates immune function, in situ, at inflamed tissue sites (infection and autoimmunity) using intravital imaging to study lymphocyte interstitial migration and the spatial control of immune activation. Her research program continues to be supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health for research into CD4 T cell function in health and disease.


Executive Committee

hectorHector Aguilar-Carreno
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Aguilar-Carreno’s research and expertise is in entry, egress, and interactions of enveloped viruses with host cells, with emphasis on emerging paramyxoviruses, vaccine and antiviral strategies.




Avery August
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

The August lab is interested in the role of Tyrosine Kinases (TKs) in regulating the immune response, with the goal of using this information to manipulate immune responses and are specifically interested in the Tec families of non-receptor tyrosine kinases.


Ilana Brito
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

The Brito lab focuses on the mechanisms that underlie microbiome-associates disorders. The lab applies systems biology and precision engineering to develop microbiome-base diagnostics and therapeutics.



Julie Blander
Professor of Immunology in Medicine

The Blander lab studies the mechanisms by which the innate immune system detects and responds to perturbations in homeostasis at the molecular, cellular and organismal level. The lab group studies these responses in the context of infection, cell death, and malignant cellular transformation.


Andrew Clark
Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Andrew Clark is a population geneticist focused on empirical and analytical problems associated with genetic variation in populations.



Nick Collins
Assistant Professor of Immunology in Medicine

The Collins lab opened in April of 2022 in the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, The Friedman Center for Nutrition and Inflammation, and the Drukier Institute for Children’s Health. We aim to understand how nutrition can optimize the immune system by regulating cellular metabolism, host physiology, and the gut microbiota.


GrimsonAndrew Grimson
Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

The Grimson lab investigates post-transcriptional gene regulation with two areas of emphasis: first, the function of small RNA regulatory molecules (chiefly microRNAs), and second, the identification and characterization of novel cis-regulatory elements within mRNAs.


Director KoretzkyGary Koretzky
Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College

Koretzky’s research focuses on the development and function of the immune system. His group is credited with elucidation of some of the key pathways required for activation of immune cells as they function to protect the host. He has been recognized for his contributions in academic medicine with election to the National Academy of Medicinethe American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served as President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Immunologists. 


LazxaroBrian Lazzaro
Professor of Entomology

Research in the Lazzaro group is focused on the evolutionary genomics of insect-pathogen interactions, emphasizing such questions as how natural selection operates on host immune systems, why individuals vary in susceptibility or resistance to infection, and what dictates whether opportunistic pathogens succeed or fail at establishing infection.


Brian Rudd
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

The Rudd lab is focused on understanding basic principles of immunity against infection and age-related changes that alter the CD8+ T cell immune responses in early life. They also are interested in determining how environmental factors (maternal diet, microbiome, infections) alter immune ontogeny and function.


Bettina Wagner Professor Bettina Wagner
Professor and Chair of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Science

The Wagner lab focuses on research in equine immunology with a particular interest in immune responses and protective mechanisms in neonates and young foals. The disease models include intracellular pathogens, such as Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), and allergic diseases especially Culicoides induced skin hypersensitivity.


Melody Y. Zeng
Assistant Professor of Immunology in Pediatrics

The Zeng laboratory studies the role of the gut microbiome and maternal-fetal/neonatal immune crosstalk in developing neonatal or pediatric inflammatory diseases, such as preterm birth, necrotizing enterocolitis, food allergies, asthma, and cancer.  Studies aim to identify gut bacteria, bacterial factors, or dietary factors that could be potential therapeutic candidates to facilitate appropriate immune responses in early life, with the overarching goal of developing gut microbiome-based preventive approaches to lower the incidence of diseases that are partly attributable to dysregulated immune cell education in early life.