Principal Investigator & Lab Head
Distinguished Professor, Department of Genetics
Member, Center for Tropical & Emerging Global Diseases
Member, Institute of Bioinformatics
Dr. Jessica "Jessie" Kissinger is a distinguished professor of Genetics and former director of the Institute of Bioinformatics (2010-2019). Her research focuses on the evolution of parasite genomes, in particular, the genomes of organisms that cause malaria, toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis. Her research area has necessitated the development of new computational tools to address issues gene transfer and syntenic regions of genome sequences as well tools related to data integration, data sharing and data mining in addition to traditional “wet laboratory” experimentation. One of the resources that she helped to develop, and for which she is now a Co-I, is a resource called VEuPathDB. This database, which has evolved into a large international project, serves the eukaryotic pathogen research community. Her research has led her to be involved in numerous international collaborations. She lived in Brazil for two years while studying malaria and she returned for 20 years as joint-PI of a Fogarty Bioinformatics training grants and as a researcher in the Ciências sem Fronteiras program. Internationally, she is a member of numerous advisory boards and committees, and advises on issues related to bioinformatics training and research. She currently has projects funded by the NIH, DARPA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust, and collaborates closely with teams at Emory, Georgia Tech, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Liverpool.