Faculty Profile

Troy Bankhead

Troy Bankhead


Phone: 509-335-7106 Phone: 509-335-7288

Lab Website : https://www.bankheadlab.org/


Education and Training

  • 2002 PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University (Joint Doctoral Program) San Diego, California USA
  • 1997 BS, Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California USA
  • 2002-2008 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology & Microbiology and Infectious Disease, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Active research projects in our lab involve studying the mechanisms of persistence and pathogenesis exhibited by Borrelia species that cause Lyme disease and Relapsing Fever.

Ongoing research is primarily in:

  • antigenic variation, which provides these pathogens with the ability to establish long-term infection in an animal or human host.
  • examining the mechanistic details of this immune evasion system, which has given clues to putative genetic elements involved in the process.

The long-term goal is to identify the proteins required for antigenic variation, as well as the mammalian host factors responsible for activating this system.

Additional research includes identifying genes involved in adaptation of the bacterium to both the host animal and tick vector. The aim is to discover host adaptation genes of the Lyme disease pathogen, as well as for other Borrelia species that cause relapsing fever that is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and neighboring regions.