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Infectious Diseases

Principal Investigators

Mingtao Zeng, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of the Center of Excellence in Infectious Diseases

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Center of Excellence in Infectious Diseases
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
5001 El Paso Drive, El Paso TX, Zip Code 79905
Office Phone: 915-215-4244

Research Overview

We are developing new-generation vaccines against human respiratory pathogens such as influenza viruses, Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), and agents important for biodefense such as Bacillus anthracis, botulinum neurotoxins, and Francisella tularensis. Our multi-component candidate vaccines are being formulated and delivered by noninvasive nasal, oral, or transcutaneous manners, using recombinant viruses, bacteria, plasmid DNA, and detoxified bacterial toxins as vaccine antigen delivery vehicles. The noninvasive and easy administration procedures are expected to eliminate pain associated with needle injection, to reduce the requirement for specially trained personnel and equipment, and to permit rapid vaccine deployment in a short time frame at a low cost.

To facilitate the development of more effective vaccines, we are also researching:

  1. the effect of current vaccination programs on the epidemiological changes of respiratory pathogens (strain replacement and antigenic variation);
  2. how people respond to infections or vaccinations at the cellular and molecular levels (B cell, T cell, and gene expression levels);
  3. identification of new protective antigens through genomic and proteomic approaches.


Ph.D. Biochemistry

Tel Aviv University


M.S. Biotechnology

Chinese Academy of Sciences


B.S. Biology

Sichuan University


Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Department of Molecular & Cell BiologyUniversity of California, Berkeley, California


Fellowship Awards

Porter Anderson Immunobioloby Fellowship, University of Rochester


Mary Kay Holding Corporation Research Fellowship, Dermatology Foundation, USA


  • Ongoing Projects



Diana Diaz-Arevalo, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Research Associate


Junwei Li, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Research Associate


Yanping Chen

Research Aide