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Jessica Kissinger

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Distinguished Research Professor of Genetics
Courtesy Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D.: Indiana University, 1995

Research focus: 

How do eukaryotic and organellar genome sequences evolve? Our lab is interested in parasite genomics and the biology of genome evolution. The nuclear and organellar genome sequences of parasitic eukaryotes are often highly-reduced, devoid of recognizable mobile elements and riddled with intracellular and lateral gene transfers. Our approach is to apply molecular, computational and phylogenetic tools to the analysis of complete parasite genome sequences. Projects include the development of tools for data integration, data mining, comparative genomics and the systems biology of host-pathogen interactions. Kissinger is a member of the NIH/NIAID Bioinformatic Resource Center, leadership team. Research focuses on the apicomplexan protist pathogens, Toxoplasma gondii and several species of Cryptosporidium and Plasmodium. Researchers in our group work at the bench, the computer, or both.



  • 1989     A.B. cum laude University of Chicago
  • 1995     PhD Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Indiana University, Mentor: Rudy Raff
  • 1995-1996 NSF/Sloan post-doctoral Fellow NIH/NIAID/LPD
  • 1996-1998 CNPq post-doctoral Fellow CPqRR-FIOCRUZ, Brazil
  • 1998-2002 Post-doctoral Fellow & Lecturer UPENN
Of note:
  • Lamar Dodd Creative Research Award, UGA, 2024
  • Fulbright US Scholar, Fulbright Scholar Program, 2022
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2021
  • Fellow, American Society for Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, 2020
  • Distinguished Research Professor, UGA, 2017
  • Richard F. Reiff Internationalization Award, UGA, 2016
  • SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellow, 2015-2016
  • Faculty Excellence in Diversity Award, UGA, 2013
  • Creative Research Medal, UGA, 2009
  • Kavli Fellow, Frontiers of Science 2005-2006, 2008
Other Affiliations:

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