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LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease


Our Mission is...
to bridge the gap between basic and translational research into microbial and viral pathogenesis. Learn More


Understanding the biological principles that underlie the mechanisms by which infectious agents adapt to and undermine the defense mechanisms of a host organism is critical for the development of therapeutic agents to fight disease. The LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease conducts basic and translational research into the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infections and strategies for their prophylaxis and therapy. The LaMontagne Center was established at The University of Texas at Austin in November 2013 as the Center for Infectious Disease (CID) and was renamed just over three years later for scientist and public health champion John Ring LaMontagne.  The LaMontagne Center, while located within the College of Natural Sciences, is composed of highly interdisciplinary researchers spanning at least four colleges: Natural Sciences, Engineering, Pharmacy, and the Dell Medical School.

Infectious Disease News

Adapting the Frequency of COVID-19 Testing Depending on Transmission Rate and Community Immunity Illustration by Jenna Luecke

Expanding rapid testing stands out as an affordable way to help mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 and emerging variants. Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new model that tailors testing recommendations to new variants and likely immunity levels in a community, offering a new strategy as public health leaders seek a way out of a pandemic that has so far thwarted the best efforts to end its spread. It is the first study to identify optimal levels of testing in a partially immunized population.

Frog Pandemic (Audio)

Until COVID-19, few people alive today had experienced the chaos and destruction of a really bad pandemic, one that has at times ground businesses, schools and social lives to a near standstill and killed millions globally. But did you know that we aren't alone in being battered by a global infectious disease? Frogs are also struggling through their own pandemic that, according to biologist Kelly Zamudio, has several eerie parallels with COVID-19. Perhaps our own encounters with a pandemic will give us new sympathy for our slimy, bug-eyed friends.

UT Austin's McLellan Receives O'Donnell Award in Medicine

UT Austin structural biologist Jason McLellan, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2022 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine from TAMEST (The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas). He was chosen for his breakthrough research in mapping, modifying, and stabilizing coronavirus spike proteins, which paved the way for the creation of leading COVID-19 vaccines.

Potential New Gene Editing Tools Uncovered Scientists have found over a thousand versions of a natural gene editor in bacteria, which could lead to better gene editing tools to treat diseases. Image courtesy: National Human Genome Research Institute.

Few developments have rocked the biotechnology world or generated as much buzz as the discovery of CRISPR-Cas systems, a breakthrough in gene editing recognized in 2020 with a Nobel Prize. But these systems that naturally occur in bacteria are limited because they can make only small tweaks to genes. In recent years, scientists discovered a different system in bacteria that might lead to even more powerful methods for gene editing, given its unique ability to insert genes or whole sections of DNA in a genome.

Mary K. Estes, PH. D.

Lecture Series - March 23rd, 2020 - MARY K. ESTES, PH.D.

Distinguished Professor of Virology and Microbiology Baylor College of Medicine.
Where: Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on UT-Austin Main Campus

experimental vaccine against RSV

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HIV Hidden in Patients' Cells

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Jan. 24, 2022

Hope for Present-Day Martian Groundwater Dries Up

AUSTIN, Texas — Liquid water previously detected under Mars’ ice-covered south pole is probably just a dusty mirage, according to a new study of the red planet led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin

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Jan. 20, 2022

Native Fish Population Predicted to Rise After Major Expansion of Texas Port

AUSTIN, Texas — Researchers have predicted that expanding the Aransas Pass — the marine pass between Mustang Island and Saint Joseph Island, offshore from the town of Aransas Pass, Texas — would increase the native red drum fish population

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Jan. 18, 2022

Adapt the Frequency of COVID-19 Testing Depending on Transmission Rate and Community Immunity, Study Finds

AUSTIN, Texas – Expanding rapid testing stands out as an affordable way to help mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 and emerging variants

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Dec. 30, 2021

UT Austin’s 2021 Research in the News Highlights

National and international media outlets widely reported on an array of research from UT Austin this year, from vaccines to black holes, energy blackouts, dinosaurs, and the history of the Texas-Mexico border

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