David A. Hunstad, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases
Division Director, Infectious Diseases
Professor, Molecular Microbiology
Arnold W. Strauss, MD Endowed Professor for Mentoring
Co-Scientific Director, Children’s Discovery Institute
David Hunstad grew up in southern Minnesota and came to Washington University as a medical student in 1991. After completing medical school on a Distinguished Alumni Scholarship, he trained in pediatrics and was chief resident at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. His research training in the laboratory of Scott Hultgren, PhD, was supported by the Pediatric Scientist Development Program. His outside interests include running, reading, the Cardinals and Blues.
Clinical Fellow, Newborn Medicine
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Elizabeth (Bis) Cole received her MD degree at Tulane University, then completed her Pediatrics residency and a Nephrology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She joined the Hunstad lab in 2022 for the research portion of her current Neonatology fellowship.
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Christina Collins joined the Hunstad lab as lead technician and laboratory manager in April 2017.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
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Nicole Gilbert completed her postdoctoral training with Amanda Lewis, PhD, in our Department of Molecular Microbiology and was an instructor in OB/Gyn before her arrival in Pediatrics. Her work on the interplay among vaginal microbiota, bacterial vaginosis, and UTIs is supported by multiple NIH grants.
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Teri Hreha joined the Hunstad lab in August 2016, having completed her thesis work in the laboratory of Blanca Barquera, PhD, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. She is investigating cellular and molecular determinants of renal abscess formation and fibrosis.
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Rachel is from the Seattle area and is a senior biology major at Washington University.
Graduate Student, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis
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Hunter Kuhn earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida. He is working on the activity of UPEC alpha-hemolysin in the kidney during pyelonephritis.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
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Robert earned his PhD in the laboratory of Gautam Dantas, PhD, and completed a fellowship in Medical and Public Health Microbiology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital prior to joining the Hunstad lab in 2022. He is interrogating the pan-genome and uropathogenesis of Proteus species.
Senior Research Technician
Rebekkah joined the Hunstad lab in 2023. She has a BS in Biochemistry from UC-Santa Barbara and worked previously at Elemental Enzymes and St. Louis University.
As a postdoctoral fellow from 2017-2020, Clay Albracht worked on the effects of testosterone on the outcomes of UTI, and the host binding partner of the UPEC neutrophil-suppressing virulence factor YbcL.
Kelleigh Briden spent two years in the Hunstad lab as part of her Newborn Medicine fellowship, working on multiple projects including the evaluation of the urinary kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio as a marker for UTI. She is now Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Newborn Medicine) at WUSM.
Elizabeth Danka completed her PhD (Molecular Cell Biology) thesis work in our lab in 2015, supported by an individual National Science Foundation fellowship grant. She completed an NIH IRACDA postdoctoral fellowship with Peggy Cotter, PhD, (UNC) and is a tenure-track assistant professor at St. Norbert College in Green Bay, WI.
Jessie Griffith completed her MA from Washington University in 2021. She is currently a student in the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy.
Meg Lau completed her thesis in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis in June 2013. She defined the role of YbcL, a novel UPEC effector protein, in inhibiting neutrophil trafficking across the bladder epithelial surface.
During her seven years (2006-13) as a postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist in the Hunstad lab, Jen Loughman dissected interactions between uropathogenic E. coli and human neutrophils, including UPEC effects on a host immunomodulatory enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO).
Abby Mapes completed her MA from Washington University in 2013. Her work examined exotoxin expression by colonizing and infecting Staphylococcus aureus strains, as part of a collaboration with the Fritz group and Julie Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD.
Lisa McLellan’s work revealed the importance of type 1 pili in pathogenesis of kidney infection and identified the first type 1 pilus receptor on renal epithelium. She completed her postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Alan Grossman at MIT and is now Assistant Professor of Biology at Purdue University – Fort Worth.
Tracy Nicholson completed her PhD thesis work in our laboratory in the spring of 2010. Her thesis detailed the role of the E. coli outer membrane protein A (OmpA) in UTI pathogenesis and described how intracellular UPEC pathogenesis provokes the innate immune response.
Patrick Olson completed his PhD thesis in the Hunstad lab in 2016 as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. His work on a new animal model of male UTI was supported by the Infectious Diseases training grant (T32) followed by an individual NRSA fellowship (F30) from NIAID. He is now a fellow in Infectious Diseases at Wash U and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
David Rosen completed his postdoctoral work in December 2017, forging new avenues in the pathogenesis of pneumonia caused by Klebsiella. He is currently Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Microbiology at WUSM and an independent NIH-funded investigator.
Luba Tothova spent six months as a Fulbright Scholar in the Hunstad lab in 2018, coming from her home country of Slovakia. She worked on sex-specific responses to therapeutic agents in UTI.