The Norgard laboratory is engaged in three areas of infectious disease research: syphilis, Lyme disease, and tularemia. Syphilis and Lyme disease are complex infections of enormous public health importance; there is presently no vaccine for either disease. Tularemia has been recognized as an important potential agent of bioterrorism. Our work on tularemia is part of the United States national biodefense initiative.
Our lab seeks to understand how the causative bacteria initiate disease, how they sustain long-term disease pathology, and how molecular components of these bacteria might be used in new vaccines.