See below for a list of supporting faculty members within the Biology Department.
I joined the faculty of Saint Mary's College from a post-doctoral position at UCSF doing research in HIV immunology. My current research in this area consists of a fusion of genetics and immunology working to identify new potential vaccine targets against HIV. I am especially interested in the activity of endogenous retroviruses and other types of mobile genetic elements within the cell upon HIV infection. I am also interested in following up on collaborative work I have done with a French research group in the Alsace (and recently published) focusing on mobile genetic elements in plants. The wine grape varieties with which we are all familiar, such as Pinot noir or Chardonnay, represent a single genetic lineage that remains unbroken since the inception of the variety. In the case of Pinot noir, the inception of the variety in France is believed to pre-date the time of the Roman Empire. Within this prolonged time period of cultivation, subtypes of varieties have emerged that have economically important quality differences, but very few known genetic distinctions. My collaborators and I are interested in measuring retroelement mobility as a potentially useful genetic marker for discriminating these important subtypes within varieties of wine grapes.