About Dr. Kaper
James B. Kaper, Ph.D. was appointed as Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology in February 2007. Dr. Kaper received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology from the University of Maryland College Park, where he conducted his doctoral research with Dr. Rita Colwell. He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he worked with Dr. Stanley Falkow. In 1981, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Bacterial Genetics Section of the Center for Vaccine Development. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984 and Professor in 1990.
Dr. Kaper’s research focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EPEC & EHEC) infections, the development of live oral cholera vaccines and the molecular pathogenesis of Vibrio cholerae. He and his colleagues developed the first recombinant bacterial vaccine to licensed for human use (the attenuated V. cholerae vaccine strain CVD 103-HgR) and have made numerous discoveries on the pathogenesis of EPEC and EHEC, including the intimin adhesin, the LEE pathogenicity island and type III secretion system (T3SS), the Ler and Per regulators, and regulation of EPEC/EHEC virulence factors by quorum sensing. He has published over 340 journal articles and book chapters and edited 6 books. Dr. Kaper has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1982 and is the recipient of an NIH MERIT award. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the Chair of the International Steering Committee for the International Symposium Series on Shiga Toxin (Verocytotoxin) – Producing E. coli Infections and a former chair of the Gordon Conference on Bacterial Toxins and Pathogenesis. Dr. Kaper has trained over 60 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows.