Research in Dr. Starnbach’s lab uses a combination of cellular and molecular approaches to analyze the mammalian responses to bacterial infection. Many virulence factors have been identified that allow bacteria to survive and replicate within the host. Dr. Starnbach has led the effort to understand the consequences of these survival strategies, specifically asking how factors made by bacteria subvert or inhibit host immune responses and lead to chronic infection.
For the past 15 years, Dr. Starnbach has recruited Harvard scientists to teach Microbiology and Immunology courses in Cuba, building relationships with Cuban Scientists at the University of Havana and the Instituto Pedro Kourí, the national reference center for infectious diseases research and control in Cuba. Despite the extreme regulatory challenges, Dr. Starnbach has hosted a number of Cuban scientists in his Harvard lab to conduct productive collaborative research. He also has been at the forefront of advocating to US government officials the value of collaborating with Cuban scientists on public health challenges common to both countries.
Dr. Starnbach received his AB degree in biology from Vassar College and his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford University. Before coming to Harvard Medical School, Dr. Starnbach pursued postdoctoral research in immunology at the University of Washington. He has been at Harvard Medical School since 1995 and is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology.