Monica Embers, PhD
Dr. Embers is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Immunology and the Director of Vector-borne Disease Research at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. Her research program regarding Lyme disease and its infectious cause Borrelia burgdorferi specializes in animal models. The research is centered around three major efforts: (1) identifying treatments that can eradicate B. burgdorferi infection; (2) detection of persistent Lyme disease spirochetes in human (autopsy) tissues; and (3) immunodiagnosis for B. burgdorferi infection and cure. By transmitting Lyme disease to mice and nonhuman primates by tick, and studying the natural course of infection, her group aims to attain a better understanding of the clinical quandaries of human Lyme disease, including effective diagnosis and treatment. Due to the many similarities between Bartonellosis and Lyme disease, her team has begun to develop research models for Bartonella infection. The goals of Bartonella research involve developing improved treatment strategies, understanding the pathophysiology of co-infection, and interrogating tick vector transmission of these pathogens.