Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology
I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, and played football and wrestled for quite a few years. I was into athletics, but didn’t realize I was interested in science until I started college. Looking back, it’s clear I was into science from a young age, as I enjoyed making homemade fireworks and hydrogen-filled balloons – it might sound like youthful pyromania, but a lot of science goes into it! With no major injuries, I set off for college at Auburn University, where I majored in Molecular Biology (BS, 2001). While at Auburn, I had my first exposure to neuroscience. I was fortunate to work with Dr. Marie Wooten on PKC signaling in neuronal (P12) cells. It was this early experience that sparked my interest in basic signaling mechanisms. I continued to graduate school (PhD, 2007) and also was a postdoctoral fellow (2014) at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB – not the Alabama football team).
Through education and training, I came to be interested in and working on both
neuroscience and immunology. As a postdoc in Dr. Tika Benveniste’s lab,
I worked on mechanisms of neuroinflammation and was awarded a career transition
fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). This five-year
grant funded the last years of my postdoc and is now helping to fund my independent
lab here at WVU. I joined WVU in January, 2015, as an assistant professor in
the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, and a member of
the Centers for Neuroscience. My lab researches basic mechanisms driving inflammation
in the CNS. We are interested in how cell damage and stress influence the inflammatory
environment. One goal is to identify targets that will allow selective regulation
of inflammation associated with diseases without affecting normal immune function.
The lab currently has three graduate students, one undergraduate student, and
a staff scientist (starts 06/2016). In addition to my research, I also teach
Molecular Immunology (IMMB 420).
I’ve been married for 15 years, and have two boys, ages 4 and 12. While most of
my spare time is spent chasing my kids, I do enjoy making and consuming
good food and good beer.
For more information about my research, please visit my