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Microbiology Faculty

The Microbiology Faculty at our institution is dedicated to advancing the understanding of microbial life through cutting-edge research and innovative teaching. Our team of experts fosters a collaborative environment, preparing students for impactful careers.

Kelly Bender, Associate Professor

Research Specialties:

Environmental Microbiology; Microbes and Coal Mining Waste; Biomining of Rare Earth Elements; Anoxygenic Photosynthesis, Heliobacterial Nitrogenase Like Proteins and Ethylene Production; Sulfate-reducing bacteria; Small RNA Analysis  



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Kelly Bender Life Science II 106
618-453-2868
bender@micro.siu.edu

Derek Fisher, Associate Professor

Research Specialties:

Bacterial physiology and pathogenesis focusing on Chlamydia . Chlamydia spp. are Gram negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens which cause disease in humans as well as economically important domestic animals. These bacteria mainly infect the mucosal epithelial layer lining the lung, ocular, digestive, and genital tracts eliciting damage primarily in the form of immunopathology. In humans, C. trachomatis is responsible for trachoma (the leading cause of preventable infectious blindness worldwide, WHO) and is the leading cause of reported bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States (and worldwide) with over 1.6 million chlamydia cases reported in 2021 (CDC).



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Derek Fisher Life Science III 1007
618-453-5201
fisher@micro.siu.edu
Personal Website

Scott Hamilton-Brehm, Associate Professor

Research Specialties:

Anaerobic and aerobic cultivation of microorganisms, environmental sampling.



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Scott Hamilton-Brehm Life Science III 1009
618-453-3818
scott.hamilton-brehm@siu.edu

Lahiru Jayakody, Assistant Professor

Research Specialties:

Synthetic Microbiology; Metabolic Engineering; Applied Microbiology; Microbial Fermentation; Microbial Stress Response; Molecular Biology



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Lahiru Jayakody

Life Science II, 139
618-453-2767
lahiru.jayakody@siu.edu 
Personal Website

Vjollca Konjufca, Professor

Research Specialties:

Immunology and Host-Pathogen Interactions.



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Konjufca Vjollca Life Science III 1012
618-453-8161
vjollca@micro.siu.edu

Bethany Rader, Associate Professor

Research Specialties:

Beneficial Host-Microbe Interactions, Innate Immunology, Microbial Ecology and Systems Biology.



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Bethany Rader Lindegren Hall 34
618-453-7821
bethany.rader@siu.edu