Michael E. Woods, PhD
Assistant Dean of Preclinical Education
Associate Professor, Pathology
Director of the BioScience Research Laboratory

Room 312
Phone: 575-674-2326
Email: mwoods@burrell.edu
Department: Department of Physiology & Pathology


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Experimental Pathology
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Bachelor of Science (BS), Microbiology
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Certificate, National Security Affairs
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Certificate, Advanced Business Management
University of Houston–Clear Lake School of Business, Clear Lake, Texas

Research Interests

Dr. Woods’ primary research interests are in the pathogenesis and ecology of vector-borne and zoonotic infectious diseases. Dr. Woods has experience working with numerous pathogens under BSL-2 and BSL-3 containment, using cell culture, animal and arthropod models of infection. Dr. Woods and Dr. Debra Bramblett are currently funded to develop a real-time reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay to detect arboviruses in clinical and environmental samples. In collaboration with Dr. Kathryn Hanley at NMSU, we will use this assay to screen Culex mosquitoes captured in New Mexico for the presence of West Nile virus (WNV). These data will help us to better define the current distribution of WNV in the state. Future directions for this research would be to expand the list of pathogens we are capable of detecting to better characterize regional infectious disease threats and then to find solutions to minimize the risk they pose to the southwestern United States. Finally, Dr. Woods is interested in the intersection of global health and American national security policy and interests.

Professional Accomplishments & Memberships


Global Security Directorate Silver Award
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Award of Excellence for Global Health Achievement, Uganda Plague Outbreak Response
and Longitudinal Study Team
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

McLaughlin Symposium on Microcirculation and Infection – Best Poster Award
University of Texas Medical Branch

Edith and Robert Zinn Presidential Scholarship
University of Texas Medical Branch

American Society for Rickettsiology Travel Award
Fourth International Conference on Rickettsiae and Rickettsial Diseases

Dean’s Student Service Award
University of Texas Medical Branch

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges


American Physiological Society (APS), 2016 – present
American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), 2016 – present
Group for Research in Pathology Education (GRIPE), 2016 – present
International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), 2016 – present
American Society for Microbiology (ASM), 2016 – present
American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), 2016 – present

Selected Publications


Markman DW, Antolin MF, Bowen RA, Wheat WH, Woods M, Gonzalez-Juarrero M, and M Jackson, “Yersinia pestis Survival and Replication in Potential Ameba Reservoir,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, February 2018, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 294–302

Graham CB, Woods ME, Vetter SM, Petersen JM, Montenieri JA, Holmes JL, Maes SE, Bearden SW, Gage KL, and RJ Eisen, “Evaluation of the Effect of Host Immune Status on Short-Term Yersinia pestis Infection in Fleas with Implications for the Enzootic Host Model for Maintenance of Y. pestis during Interepizootic Periods,” Journal of Medical Entomology, September 2014, Vol. 51, No. 5, pp. 1079–1086

Schotthoefer AM, Bearden SW, Holmes JL, Vetter SM, Montenieri JA, Williams SK, Graham CB, Woods ME, Eisen RJ, and KL Gage, “Effects of Temperature on the Transmission of Yersinia pestis by the Flea, Xenopsylla cheopis, in the Late Phase Period. Parasites & Vectors, September 2011, Vol. 4:191

Schotthoefer AM, Bearden SW, Vetter SM, Holmes J, Montenieri JA, Graham CB, Woods ME, Eisen RJ, and KL Gage, “Effects of Temperature on Early-Phase Transmission of Yersinia pestis by the Flea, Xenopsylla cheopis,” Journal of Medical Entomology, March 2011, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 411–417

Woods ME, Montenieri J, Eisen RJ, Zeidner NS, Borchert JN, Laudisoit A, Babi N, Atiku LA, Enscore RE, and KL Gage, “Identification of Flea Blood Meals Using Multiplexed Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Targeting Mitochondrial Gene Fragments,” American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, June 2009, Vol. 80, No. 6, pp. 998–1003

Jordan JM, Woods ME, Soong L, and DH Walker, “Rickettsiae Stimulate Dendritic Cells through Toll-Like Receptor 4, Leading to Enhanced NK Cell Activation In Vivo,” Journal of Infectious Diseases, January 2009, Vol. 199, No. 2, pp. 236–242

Jordan JM, Woods ME, Olano J, and DH Walker, “The Absence of Toll-like Receptor 4 Signaling in C3H/HeJ Mice Predisposes Them to Overwhelming Rickettsial Infection and Decreased Protective Th1 Responses,” Infection and Immunity, August 2008, Vol. 76, No. 8, pp. 3717-3724

Woods ME and JP Olano, “Host Defenses to Rickettsia rickettsii Infection Contribute to Increased Microvascular Permeability in Human Cerebral Endothelial Cells,” Journal of Clinical Immunology, March 2008, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 174–185

Xu Y, Gong B, Yang Y, Woods M, and PJ Boor, “Glutathione-S-Transferase Protects Against Oxidative Injury of Endothelial Cell Tight Junctions,” Endothelium, November-December, Vol. 14, No. 6, pp. 333–343

Jordan JM, Woods ME, Soong L, Feng HM, and DH Walker, “Rickettsiae-Stimulated DCs Mediates Protection Against Lethal Rickettsial Challenge in an Animal Model of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,” Journal of Infectious Diseases, August 2007, Vol. 196, No. 4, pp. 629–638

McBride JW, Doyle CK, Zhang X, Cardenas AM, Popov VL, Nethery KA, Woods ME, “Identification of a Glycosylated Ehrlichia canis 19-kDa Major Immunoreactive Protein With a Species-Specific Serine-Rich Glycopeptide Epitope,” Infection and Immunity, January 2007, Vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 74–82

Woods ME; Wen G, and JP Olano, “Nitric Oxide as a Mediator of Increased Microvascular Permeability during Acute Rickettsiosis,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, December 2005, Vol. 1063, pp. 239–245