Alison Criss, Ph.D.

Alison Criss, Ph.D.

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Alison Criss, Ph.D., is an associate professor of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Director of the UVA Global Infectious Diseases Institute.

Her laboratory investigates how Neisseria gonorrhoeae initiates innate immune responses at human mucosal surfaces, yet resists killing by neutrophils recruited during infection. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify host and bacterial targets for new antimicrobials and vaccines, while limiting the inflammatory damage in gonorrhea.

Criss’ honors include selection as an American Public Health Association Thought Leader and ASM/ICAAC Young Investigator Awardee. She is committed to mentoring the next generation of scientists and serves as co-principal investigator of the UVA Infectious Diseases T32 Training Grant, teaches in graduate and medical courses and advises graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and undergraduates in her lab.

Criss serves on the NIH Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens study section (2018-2022) and the editorial boards of Infection and Immunity and Journal of Bacteriology. She earned her B.A. in biology and chemistry from Williams College, her Ph.D. in cell biology from Harvard Medical School, and at Northwestern University she performed postdoctoral research in microbiology and immunology.