Alison J. Quayle, PhD

Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology

1901 Perdido Street, Box P6-1
New Orleans, LA 70112


PhD Reproductive Immunology – 1989
University of Edinburgh, Scotland

MSc Immunology – 1985
University of Birmingham, England

BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences – 1984
University of Bradford, England


Dr. Quayle undertook her graduate training with Dr. Keith James at the University of Edinburgh, and collaborated closely with Dr. Rodney Kelly at the MRC Reproductive Biology Unit. The focus of her PhD was the modulation of cellular immunity by seminal prostaglandins. Her postgraduate studies in reproductive immunology were continued at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where she worked on mucosal immunity to HIV with Dr. Deborah Anderson. She subsequently became an independent NIH-funded investigator and Assistant Professor at Harvard, continuing to investigate host-pathogen relationships in the genital tract, but focusing on Chlamydia trachomatis. She joined the faculty of LSUHSC as an Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, and she is a principal investigator in the NIH-funded Gulf South Sexually Transmitted Infections/Topical Microbicides Cooperative Research Center. Her research is currently focused on elucidating the effector T cell response to C.trachomatis in the human endocervix, the mechanisms by which C.trachomatis evades T cell immunity, and whether C.trachomatis  can become persistent in the human female genital tract.

Research Interests

The central theme of our research is immune defense in the human female genital tract, and the mucosal immune response to HIV and the unique obligate intracellular bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Specific interests include: (1) Elucidation of the Chlamydia trachomatis-specific adaptive response in the human endocervix, and (2) Determination of the immunoevasive strategies used by C. trachomatis to adapt to, and survive in, the human genital milieu; (3) How C. trachomatis influences HIV transmission; (4) How female steroid hormones, particularly long-acting progestins, influence the female genital milieu and early  pathogen transmission events.