Associate Professor of Microbiology
Alison Criss, PhD, is Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Director of the University of Virginia Global Infectious Diseases Institute.Dr. Criss’ laboratory investigates how Neisseria gonorrhoeaeinitiates productive infection at mucosal surfaces, recruits neutrophils during infection, and survives after challenge with neutrophils and their antimicrobial products. These studies combine cell biological, biochemical, targeted- and genome-wide, and imaging-based approaches. The laboratory is contributing to the development of a gonorrhea vaccine by analyzing vaccine-induced serum for functional antigonococcal activities through the NIH-funded Gonorrhea Vaccine Cooperative Research Center. Dr. Criss’ honors include the University of VirginiaPinn Scholars Award for mid-career faculty, American Society for Microbiology Young Investigator Award, andNIH K99/R00 career transitional award. She serves on the NIH Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens study sectionand the editorial boards of Infection and Immunity and Frontiers in Microbiology, and is an At-Large Member of the American Society for Microbiology Committee on Microbial Sciences.Dr. Criss was on the Organizing Committee of the 2014 and 2016 International Pathogenic Neisseria Conferences and has served as a session chair and abstract reviewer for other IPNCs. Dr. Criss received her BA in Biology and Chemistry from Williams College and PhD in Cell Biology from Harvard Medical School, followed by postdoctoral research in Microbiology and Immunology at Northwestern University.