DeAnna Bublitz

DeAnna Bublitz

Senior Research Scientist


Personal Website

Current Position

Research Scientist in Patrick Secor's lab




Bio 160N (taught for one month)

Principles of Living Systems

Unifying principles of biological structure-function relationships at different levels of organization and complexity. Consideration of reproduction, genetics, development, evolution, ecosystems, as well as the inter-relationships of the human species to the rest of life. 

Bio 101N

Discover Biology - Explore the fundamental topics of chemical and cellular life, genetics, evolution, and biodiversity. This course aims to introduce the basics of biology as it pertains to your life. Important objectives include developing a deeper understanding of how various organisms function and the role of humans in this living world. Objectively review scientific literature, gain an understanding for the basic workings of biological organisms, and the tools to be an informed citizen scientist.


Ph.D. - Molecular Genetics and Microbiology - Stony Brook University

B.S. - Biology - University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

Research Interests

My research interests lie in understanding the interactions that occur between a host and its microbes and the fine line walked between being an infectious bacterium versus a symbiont. I also aim to promote scientific understanding, accessability, and relatability among non-professionals.

Field of Study

Infectious Diseases





1. Bublitz DC, Poché RM, and Garlapati R. (2015). Measures to control Phlebotomus argentipes and visceral leishmaniasis in India. Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases. (Accepted).

2. Clark, TC, Noriea, NF, Bublitz DC, Ellison DW, Martens C, Lutter EI, and Hackstadt T. (2015). Comparative genome sequencing of Rickettsia rickettsi strains that differ in virulence. Infection and Immunity. 83: 1568-1576.

3. Bublitz DC, Wright PC, Rasambainarivo FT, Arrigo-Nelson SJ, Bodager JR, and Gillespie TR. (2014) Pathogenic enterobacteria in lemurs associated with anthropogenic disturbance. American Journal of Primatology, DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22348.

4. Bublitz DC, Wright PC, Bodager JR, Rasambainarivo FT, Bliska JB, and Gillespie TR. (2014) Epidemiology of pathogenic enterobacteria in humans, livestock, and peridomestic rodents in rural Madagascar. PLoS One, 9: e101456.

5. Bublitz DC, Noah CE, Benach JL, and Furie MB. (2010) Francisella tularensis suppresses the proinflammatory response of endothelial cells via the endothelial protein C receptor.  Journal of Immunology, (185): 1124-1131.

6. Platz GJ., Bublitz DC, Mena P, Benach JL, Furie MB, and Thanassi DG. (2010) A tolC mutant of Francisella tularensis is hypercytotoxic and elicits increased proinflammatory responses from host cells. Infection and Immunity, (78): 1022-1031.         

7. Noah CE, Malik M, Bublitz DC, Camenares D, Sellati TJ, Benach JL, and Furie MB. (2010) GroEL and lipopolysaccharide from Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain synergistically activate human macrophages. Infection and Immunity, (78): 1797-1806.


Teaching Experience

BASIC ANATOMY LECTURE – Bitterroot College, University of Montana; 2013-2014

  • Prepare and present lectures on anatomy and physiology for ~20 undergraduate/certificate students
  • Devise and administer exams
  • Full semester course

GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB – Bitterroot College, University of Montana; 2013-2014

  • Prepare and present lectures on general chemistry concepts for ~12 students
  • Create and lead laboratory activities based on the lecture concepts
  • Devise and administer exams, full semester course

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH AFTER SCHOOL SCHOLARS (BRASS) – Rocky Mountain Laboratories; 2012- 2014

  • Prepared and presented lectures and lab activities pertaining to environmental biology for groups of children grades 6-8 at three middle schools in Ravalli County, Montana

HBM 531 – MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY LAB – Stony Brook University; 2008, 2011

  • Explained and demonstrated clinical microbiological procedures for ~80 medical and dental students
  • Set up and took down lab gear
  • Graded lab reports
  • Two-week course

HBM 320 – MICROBIOLOGY LECTURE - Stony Brook University; 2008

  • Proctored exams for upper level, undergraduate microbiology lecture class
  • Full semester course

HBM 321 – MICROBIOLOGY LAB – Stony Brook University; 2008

  • Responsible for teaching ~40 students in undergraduate microbiology lab for pre-nursing program
  • Set up and took down lab gear, explained and demonstrated basic microbiological procedures, wrote weekly quizzes, graded assigned lab reports and exams
  • Full semester course

GENETICS TUTOR – University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; 2006

  • Led group and one-on-one tutoring sessions for undergraduate genetics course

Professional Experience

STUDY DIRECTOR – Genesis Laboratories; 2014-2015

  • Manage a team of ten people from India, Belgium, and the United States to conduct the field work and data analysis
  • Plan and execute field studies involving human behavior surveys, serology tests for visceral leishmaniasis, sand fly capture, and treating cattle with an insecticide
  • Developed the survey app used to collect human behavior information in the field (Android platform)
  • PCR for sand fly blood-meal analysis, species identification, and presence of Leishmania donovani parasite – conduct related data analysis
  • Anatomical identification of sand flies for species and sex
  • Plot visceral leishmaniasis cases by village and create cluster maps for use in the field with Backcountry Navigator
  • Act as liaison between various Indian government and nonprofit organizations and Genesis Laboratories
  • Write manuscripts and aid in grant writing as needed

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW - Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) NIAID/NIH; 2012 - 2014

  • Plan and execute experiments using current molecular biology techniques to determine how the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Rickettsia rickettsii, causes disease in humans
  • Cloning rickettsial genes into expression vectors to assess role as virulence factors
  • Conducting immune-response experiments using primary dermal microvascular endothelial cells
  • Conducted research in a BSL2 and BSL3 laboratories
  • Peer-review submitted journal articles as requested

RESEARCH ASSISTANT - Doctoral Research Stony Brook University (SBU); 2007- 2012

  • Investigated how Francisella tularensis (causative agent of tularemia) manipulates the human immune response
  • Planned and executed experiments using current immunology and cell-biology techniques; flow cytometry, ELISA, microarray analysis, qRT-PCR, PCR
  • Mentored first year graduate students on proper lab protocol, assay techniques, and project design
  • Worked in BSL2 and BSL3 laboratories
  • Wrote and published peer-reviewed articles based on my research

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH CONTRACTOR - Emory University, SBU and Centre ValBio; 2012

  • Planned experiments and collaborated with researches from three institutes for a pilot project based in Madagascar
  • Analyzed DNA extracted from fecal samples for evidence of infection by enteric bacterial pathogens
  • Developed budget and acquired internal funding for supplies

International Experience

2015 - Part of a team studying the transmission of visceral leishmaniasis in Bihar, India. We conducted human subject surveys prior to beginning a cattle-treatment regime that may aid in disrupting transmission by killing sand flies when they take a blood-meal from treated cattle.

In 2011, I worked as a part of team of disease ecologists, health and hygiene workers, and biodiversity research technicians in three villages and Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar to investigate transmission of infectious diseases between people, the environment, and domestic animals. We worked in remote locations with a team conducting household interviews, small mammal trapping/handling, collection and processing of water and fecal samples. Our research led to a better understanding of where enteric diseases are coming from within these communities. Interestingly, we also found that lemurs in degraded environments or those more frequently exposed to heavily trafficked tourist areas carry human-associated enteric bacteria while those in more protected regions of the forest do not.

I have also worked at a wildlife refuge center in Costa Rica. As a verterinary assistant I adminstered food and medicine, and aided in basic exams, surgeries, and necropsies of various neotropical animals with a trained veterinarian. 


US Forest Service - National Genomics Laboratory - Univeristy of Montana, Missoula, MT

Rocky Mountain Laboratories - National Institutes of Health - Hamilton, MT