Megan Tierney Baldridge, MD, PhD
November 14, 2016
Dr. Megan Baldridge grew up in Houston, Texas, but blames her Pittsburgh origins for her lack of a Texan accent. In Houston, she attended Rice University, where she studied Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and fell in love with research while studying plant auxins in Arabidopsis thaliana in the lab of Bonnie Bartel as an undergraduate. She subsequently entered the MD/PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine, which in addition to providing great training, also served an unintentional match-making function by introducing Megan to her classmate-turned-husband, Dustin.
During her time in graduate school in the Molecular and Human Genetics department, she explored the effects of Mycobacterium avium infection on hematopoietic stem cells in mouse models in the lab of Margaret (Peggy) Goodell. She continues related collaborations today by studying interactions between the microbiome, antibiotic treatment and hematopoiesis.
After completing medical school, Megan elected to put her full focus on research by pursuing a postdoctoral position in the lab of Skip Virgin at Wash U. During her time in Skip’s lab, she studied the effects of the microbiome on both the immune system and on enteric virus infection, using mouse norovirus as a model system. She completed her postdoc earlier this year, and has been delighted to start her own lab in a combined position in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology. Her laboratory focuses on the interplay between the bacterial microbiome, the mucosal innate immune system including type III interferon signaling, and viral and bacterial pathogens. She maintains a continued emphasis on norovirus pathogenesis, and is developing methods to assess viral evolution in immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. She is also working to understand the signaling pathways and antiviral effects of type III interferons, with the goal of identifying therapeutic targets for norovirus and other mucosal pathogens. When not in the lab, Megan enjoys traveling, brewing and tasting craft beer, and extremely leisurely biking.
Categories: New Faculty