Brenda A. Wilson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA


Brenda A. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Microbiology in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Host-Microbe Systems (HMS) Theme Leader in the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), and Co-Director of the Center for Zoonosis Research (CZR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), IL, USA. She gained her B.A. degree in Biochemistry and German from Barnard College, Columbia University, NY in 1981. She then studied biochemistry through a DAAD fellowship at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in München, Germany. She received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where she received the Ernest M. Marks Achievement Award and an AAUW doctoral fellowship to study the biosynthesis of ß-lactam antibiotics. She began her studies on bacterial protein toxins during her postdoctoral training in microbiology through an NIH fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Her first faculty appointment in 1993 was in the Department of Biochemistry at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She then moved to the Department of Microbiology at UIUC in 1999. Her research involves studying the molecular interactions and biochemical mechanisms by which protein toxins produced by pathogenic bacteria cause their toxic effects on mammalian cells, understanding how the toxins can be used as potent selective cell biology tools for studying signal transduction pathways and physiological processes within cells, and designing and developing novel postexposure antitoxin therapeutics. Finally, as part of the HMS-IGB Dr. Wilson and her colleagues have begun research to exploit comparative and functional genomic technologies to study the dynamic interactions between the host (humans and nonhuman primates) and its commensal as well as pathogenic microbes, i.e., microbial ecology in the host environment, and the role of the microbiome in health and disease and evolutionary processes.

Biography Updated on 18 October 2012

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