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M. Neal Guentzel, Ph.D.


Phone: (210) 458-4473

Lab website:

Areas of Specialization

» Acinetobacter baumanii
» Chlamydia trachomatis
» Francisella tularensis
» Microbial pathogenesis
» Microscopy
» Vaccines

South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases


Ph.D.; University of Texas at Austin
M.A.; University of Texas at Austin
B.A.; University of Texas at Austin


Research Interests

Dr. Guentzel’s research expertise is in microbial pathogenesis and immunology. Initially, he worked with cholera (Vibrio cholerae) and was the first to show motility as a virulence factor for any bacterial pathogen and extensively characterized an animal model for studies of cholera pathogenesis and putative vaccines for cholera. Motility has since been shown to be important in pathogenesis of a variety of microbes and the model is a mainstay for cholera studies. He also studied pathogenesis of the major fungal pathogen Candida albicans, developed a new animal model for candidiasis, and demonstrated systemic spread from the GI tract as a consequence of different treatments used in human patients.

Current studies have focused on pathogenesis and putative vaccines for Chlamydia trachomatis, the world’s leading cause of bacterial STD, which is often asymptomatic but if left untreated can induce ascending infection in the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and complications such as ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women, and infant pneumonia in children with serious respiratory sequelae later in life. The lab's studies on the select agent Francisella tularensis have helped to define the virulence determinants of this pathogen and characterized the immune response and protection afforded by putative attenuated vaccine stains. Acinetobacter baumannii is a multi-drug resistant, important wound, nosocomial (hospital acquired), and pulmonary pathogen with a high mortality, which is being studied for mechanisms of colonization, pathogenesis and control.



Click here for a list of publications.