David Hunstad, MD

Principal Investigator
Professor and Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases

David 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 Dr. Scott Hultgren was supported by the Pediatric Scientist Development Program. His outside interests include running, reading, and the Cardinals and Blues. He lives with his wife, Jenni, and their two girls in west St. Louis County.

Christina Collins, BS

Senior Research Technician

Christina joined the Hunstad lab as lead technician and laboratory manager in April 2017, continuing her work in the Department of Pediatrics that began 13 years ago.


Nicole Gilbert, PhD

Instructor in Pediatrics

Nicole 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 a K01 from NIDDK and an R21 from NIAID.

Teri Hreha, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Teri joined the Hunstad lab in August 2016, having completed her thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Blanca Barquera at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. She is investigating cellular and molecular determinants of renal fibrosis following pyelonephritis. 

Clay Albracht, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Clay joined the Hunstad lab in October 2017 after completing his PhD at RPI and a first postdoctoral term at NIH. He is investigating interactions of the UPEC virulence protein YbcL with host proteins important in regulating transepithelial neutrophil migration.

Lisa McLellan, BS

Graduate Student, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Lisa earned her undergraduate degree at Hope College and joined the Hunstad lab in 2016.  Her work on the pathogenesis of renal abscess formation is supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Olin Fellowship for Women.


Jessie Griffith, BA

Graduate Student, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Jessie completed her bachelor's degree at Kenyon College, where she studied adaptive evolution of E. coli drug efflux pumps during depletion of the proton motive force.

Past Trainees

Megan Lau, PhD

Meg 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. 

Jennifer Loughman, PhD

During her seven years (2006-13) as a postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist in the Hunstad lab, Jen dissected interactions between uropathogenic E. coli and human neutrophils, including UPEC effects on a host immunomodulatory enzyme, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO).

Tracy Nicholson, PhD, MPH

Tracy 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.  

Abigail Mapes, MA

Abby 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 Dr. Julie Bubeck Wardenburg at the University of Chicago. 

Elizabeth Danka, PhD

Elizabeth 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 Dr. Peggy Cotter (UNC) and is currently on the teaching faculty of Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.

Patrick Olson, MD, PhD

Patrick 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 resident in Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

David Rosen, MD, PhD

David 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 an independent investigator, funded by a K08 grant from NIAID.

Kelleigh Briden, MD

Kelleigh 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 part of the Newborn Medicine faculty at WUSM.

Lubomira Tothova, PhD

Fulbright Scholar

Luba spent six months in the Hunstad lab in 2018, coming from her home country of Slovakia.  She worked on sex-specific responses to therapeutic agents in UTI.

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