David G. Russell
Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Department Chairman

David G. Russell




Department of Microbiology and Immunology
C5-171 Veterinary Medical Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703


Web Sites

Department Profile


Dr. Russell assumed his position as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in July 2000. His previous experience was as professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis where he had worked since 1990. He received a B.Sc. degree in Zoology from St. Andrews University in Scotland in 1979 and was awarded a Ph.D. from Imperial College, London University in 1982. He has held positions at the University of Kent, the Max-Planck-Institute in Tuebingen, and NYU School of Medicine prior to moving to St. Louis. His research program has maintained continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for research into the biology of the intramacrophage pathogens Mycobacterium and Leishmania.

Research Description

Mycobacterial species are important pathogens of both animals and humans. Study into the lifestyles of these pathogens reveals extensive parallels in their mechanisms of intracellular survival and persistence. Our lab is dedicated to the study of pathogenic mycobacteria and the main goals of the work in the lab fall into three discrete areas of research addressing the interaction between the macrophage and the bacterium with respect to the intracellular environment and the regulation of host cell function.


Yates, R.M., Hermetter, A., Taylor, G.A., and Russell, D.G. (2007) Macrophage activation down-regulates the degradative capacity of the phagosome. Traffic 8:241-250.

Russell, D. G. (2007) Who puts the tubercle in tuberculosis? Nature Reviews Microbiology 5: 39-47

Yates, R.M. and Russell, D.G. (2005) Phagosome maturation proceeds independently of stimulation of Toll-like receptors 2 and 4. Immunity 23:409-417.

Geisel, R.E., Russell, D.G., and Rhoades, E.R. (2005) In vivo activity of released mycobacterial cell wall lipids is due principally to trehalose mycolates. J. Immunol. 174:5007-5015.

Pethe, K. Swenson, L.D., Alonso, S., Anderson, J., Wang, C., and Russell, D.G. (2004) Isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutants defective in the arrest of phagosome maturation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 101:13642-13647.

Click here for Dr. Russell's PubMed listings.