School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Michael Allen’s Lab

Michael S. Allen, Ph.D. (Microbiology, University of Tennessee)Dr.MichaelAllen

Associate Professor

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics

Director, Tick-borne Disease Testing Laboratory


Research Interests: Host-microbiome interactions, vector-borne microbial diseases, microbial forensics, probiotics


Current research projects:

Research in the Allen lab has two main themes: host-microbiome interactions and vector-borne diseases.  In the former, we are investigating the roles of the microbiome in health and disease in a number of systems including the gut (IBS) and lung (pneumonia), as well as the changes within the microbiome during times of stress and infection.  Basic research is then applied to investigate mechanisms for modulating the microbiome community and the use of natural and genetically engineered probiotic bacteria for the treatment of diseases such as PKU.  Vector-borne disease research in the laboratory focuses on pathogens associated with ticks (e.g. Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp.) and triatomes (vectors of the parasite causing Chagas disease), and studies of the vector’s microbiome in an effort to identify factors that may influence their capacity to transmit disease. Our lab also conducts pathogen screening of ticks for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Go to: Tick Testing Services

Current courses taught:

MMED 6206-Fundamentals of Microbiology

MMED 6301-Molecular Genetics

MMED 5500 Microbiomes in Health and Disease

MMED 5103-Seminar in Current Topics

MMED 5390/1-Special Topics in Bacterial Genetics

MMED 5095-Moot Court

Potential lab openings:

We are always interested in talented PhD students. Please contact us to discuss current availabilities.