Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland
Dr. Pal is an expert on pathogenic spirochete biology, with several research interests related to Borrelia and Leptospira species. He identifies virulence factors in Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, and deciphers their roles in promoting transmission between the tick vector and mammalian hosts. He also studies vector-host interactions that allow bacterial persistence in the tick, which has a complex life cycle and an immunological response to the pathogen. An additional area of interest is the identification of bacterial surface proteins that are involved in triggering Lyme arthritis and the induction of inflammation.