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Leo J. Kenefic Ph.D.

Academic Title: Assistant Professor
Primary Appointment: Medical and Research Technology
Location: AHB, 100 Penn St., 415-A
Phone: 410-706-2626
Fax: 410-706-5229

Personal History:

  • 1986: BS, Microbiology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • 2000: MS, Biomedical Sciences, Hood College, Frederick, MD
  • 2008: PhD, Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ - Thesis: "Genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in North America"

Research Interests:

My primary research interests lie in pathogen genomics and molecular epidemiology. Pathogen genomics relate to the comparative DNA sequencing of organisms relevant to human and animal disease. Sequence polymorphisms can then be used as the basis for evolutionary and phylogenetic studies, as well as, a tool to answer questions related to molecular epidemiology. My research interests involve the use of molecular genetic data in prevention strategies for the control of bacterial and parasitic diseases through rapid diagnoses and tracking of disease movements among populations and the identification of source strains. Additionally, some of these genetic polymorphisms are directly correlated to antibiotic resistance or increased virulence and have important ramifications for vaccine development and public health. My current research interests involve a parasite of great public health importance, Plasmodium falciparum, a causative agent of malaria. Malaria is one of the top public health concerns globally with 300-500 million cases annually resulting in nearly 1 million deaths. Many of these fatalities are in children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. Our goal is to use genetic markers to select suitable targets for vaccine development and to monitor emerging drug resistance.


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Chitkara YK, McCasland KA, Kenefic L. Development and implementation of cost-effective guidelines in the laboratory investigation of diarrhea in a community hospital. Arch. Intern. Med. 1996, 156 (13): 1445-1448. (ran analyses, provided statistical interpretation)
  2. Hendel H, Hénon N, Lebuanec H, Lachgar A, Poncelet H, Caillat-Zucman S, Winkler CA, Smith MW, Kenefic L, O'Brien S, Lu W, Andrieu JM, Zagury D, Schächter F, Rappaport J, Zagury JF. Distinctive effects of CCR5, CCR2, and SDF1 genetic polymorphisms in AIDS progression. J. Acquir. Immune. Defic. Syndr. Hum. Retrovirol. 1998, 19(4):381-6. (determined analytic methods, ran analyses)
  3. DeWoody JA, Schupp J, Kenefic L, Busch J, Murfitt L, Keim P. Universal method for producing ROX-labeled size standards suitable for automated genotyping. BioTechniques. 2004, 37(3): 348-354. (determined analytic methods, ran analyses, document preparation)
  4. Easterday WR, Van Ert MN, Simonson TS, Wagner DM, Kenefic LJ, Allender CJ, Keim P. Use of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the plcR Gene for Specific Identification of Bacillus anthracis. J Clin Microbiol. 2005, 43(4):1995-7. (determined analytic methods, document preparation)
  5. Cheung DT, Kam KM, Hau KL, Au TK, Marston CK, Gee JE, Popovic T, Van Ert MN, Kenefic L, Keim P, Hoffmaster AR. Characterization of a Bacillus anthracis Isolate Causing a Rare Case of Fatal Anthrax in a 2-Year-Old Boy from Hong Kong. J Clin Microbiol. 2005, 43(4):1992-4. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  6. Maho A, Rossano A, Hächler H, Holzer A, Schelling E, Zinsstag J, Hassane MH, Toguebaye BS, Akakpo AJ, Van Ert M, Keim P, Kenefic L, Frey J, Perreten V. Antibiotic Susceptibility and Molecular Diversity of Bacillus anthracis Strains in Chad; Detection of a New Phylogenetic Subgroup. J Clin Microbiol. 2006, 44(9):3422-5. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  7. Van Ert MN, Easterday WR, Simonson TS, U'Ren JM, Pearson T, Kenefic LJ, Busch JD, Huynh LY, Dukerich M, Trim CB, Beaudry J, Welty-Bernard A, Read T, Fraser CM, Ravel J, Keim P. Strain-Specific Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Assays for the Bacillus anthracis Ames Strain. J Clin Microbiol. 2007, 45(1):47-53. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  8. Van Ert MN, Easterday WR, Huynh LY, Okinaka RT, Hugh-Jones ME, Ravel J, Zanecki SR, Pearson T, Simonson TS, U'Ren JM, Kachur SM, Leadem-Dougherty RR, Rhoton SD, Zinser G, Farlow J, Coker PR, Smith KL, Wang B, Kenefic LJ, Fraser-Liggett CM, Wagner DM, Keim P.2007. Global Genetic Population Structure of Bacillus anthracis. PLoS ONE. 2007 May 23;2:e461. (determined analytic method, ran analyses, document preparation)
  9. Auerbach RK, Tuanyok A, Probert WS, Kenefic L, Vogler AJ, Bruce DC, Munk C, Brettin TS, Eppinger M, Ravel J, Wagner DM, Keim P. Yersinia pestis Evolution on a Small Timescale: Comparison of Whole Genome Sequences from North America. PLoS ONE. 2007 Aug 22;2(1):e770. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  10. Foster JT, Okinaka RT, Svensson R, Shaw K, De BK, Robison RA, Probert WS, Kenefic LJ, Brown WD, Keim P. Real-time PCR Assays of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms defining the major Brucella clades. J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Jan;46(1):296-301. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  11. Kenefic LJ, Beaudry J, Trim C, Huynh L, Zanecki S, Matthews M, Schupp J, Van Ert M, Keim P. A High Resolution Four-Locus Multiplex Single Nucleotide Repeat (SNR) Genotyping System in Bacillus anthracis. J Microbiol Meth. 2008 Jun;73(3):269-72.
  12. Kenefic LJ, Beaudry J, Trim C, Daly R, Parmar R, Zanecki S, Huynh L, Van Ert MN, Wagner DM, Graham T, Keim P. High Resolution Genotyping of Bacillus anthracis Outbreak Strains Using Four Highly Mutable Single Nucleotide Repeat (SNR) Markers. Letters in Applied Micro. 2008, 46 (5): 600-603.
  13. Okinaka RT, Henrie M, Hill KK, Lowery KS, Van Ert M, Pearson T, Schupp J, Kenefic L, Beaudry J, Hofstadler SA, Jackson PJ, Keim P. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Typing of Bacillus anthracis from Sverdlovsk Tissue. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2008, 14(4):653-656. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  14. Kenefic LJ, Pearson T, Okinaka RT, Chung WK, Max T, Trim CP, Beaudry JA, Schupp JM, Van Ert MN, Marston CK, Gutierrez K, Swinford AK, Hoffmaster AR, Keim P. Texas isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis Ames. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2008 Sept;14(9):1494-6.
  15. Kenefic LJ, Pearson T, Okinaka RT, Schupp JM, Wagner DM, Hoffmaster AR, Trim CB, Chung WK, Beaudry JA, Jiang L, Gajer P, Foster JT, Mead JI, Ravel J, Keim P. Pre-Columbian Origins for North American Anthrax. PLoS One. 2009 March 13. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004813
  16. Simonson TS, Okinaka RT, Wang B, Easterday WR, Huynh L, U'Ren JM, Dukerich M, Zanecki SR, Kenefic LJ, Beaudry J, Schupp JM, Pearson T, Wagner DM, Hoffmaster A, Ravel J, Keim P. Bacillus anthracis in China and its relationship to worldwide lineages. BMC Microbiol. 2009 Apr 15;9:71. (determined analytic method, ran analyses)
  17. Rasko DA, Worsham PL, Abshire TG, Stanley ST, Bannan JD, Wilson MR, Langham RJ, Decker RS, Jiang L, Read TD, Phillippy AM, Salzberg SL, Pop M, Van Ert MN, Kenefic LJ, Keim PS, Fraser-Liggett CM, Ravel J. Bacillus anthracis comparative genome analysis in support of the Amerithrax investigation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011 Mar 22;108(12):5027-32. (determined analytic methods, ran analyses, document preparation)
  18. Shaukat AM, Gilliams EA, Kenefic LJ, Laurens MB, Dzinjalamala FK, Nyirenda OM, Thesing PC, Jacob CG, Molyneux ME, Taylor TE, Plowe CV, Laufer MK. Clinical manifestations of new versus recrudescent malaria infections following anti-malarial drug treatment. Malar J. 2012 Jun 18;11(1):207. (determined analytic method, ran analyses, document preparation)
  19. Takala-Harrison S, Clark TG, Jacob CG, Cummings MP, Miotto O, Dondorp AM, Fukuda MM, Nosten F, Noedl H, Imwong M, Bethell D, Se Y, Lon C, Tyner SD, Saunders DL, Socheat D, Ariey F, Phyo AP, Starzengruber P, Fuehrer HP, Swoboda P, Stepniewska K, Flegg J, Arze C, Cerqueira GC, Silva JC, Ricklefs SM, Porcella SF, Stephens RM, Adams M, Kenefic LJ, Campino S, Auburn S, Macinnis B, Kwiatkowski DP, Su XZ, White NJ, Ringwald P, Plowe CV. A genome-wide association study of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin treatment in Southeast Asia. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013 Jan 2;110(1):240-5. (determined analytic methods, ran analyses)

Book Chapters

  1. Kenefic L, Okinaka R, and Keim PS. Chapter 9: Phylogeography of Anthrax in North America in Bacterial Population Genetics in Infectious Disease. Editor(s): D. Ashley Robinson, Daniel Falush, Edward J. Feil, New Jersey, Wiley Publications, 2010.