Arlind Mara

Research Associate I

Education and Experience

  • PhD, Pathobiology (Bacteriology), University of Connecticut
  • MS, Pathobiology, University of Connecticut
  • BS, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral Fellow  (NIH-NIAID) Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH, USA
  • Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Biodefense Research Fellow Virology, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Northeast Area, Orient Point, NY, USA

    Major Interests and Current Research

    Broad Research Interests:

    • Host-pathogen interactions
    • Mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity
    • Rational design of vaccines and therapeutics against human and animal pathogens
    • Mononuclear phagocytes and how they modulate, immune responses, susceptibility to bacterial pathogens, and vaccine efficacy
    • Mechanisms orchestrating pulmonary inflammation during infection or disease
    • Trained immunity

    Current Specific Research Interests:

    • How do human and animal pathogenic Mycoplasma species interact with host mononuclear phagocytes (MPs) to elicit protective or maladaptive immune responses?
    • How do environmental factors such as diet, microbiome, environmental toxins and pollutants, stress etc., affect the phenotype of host MPs, and how does this affect vaccine efficacy or susceptibility to pathogenic Mycoplasmas?
    • How do preexisting conditions (ie. chronic conditions, previous or concurrent infections, etc.) affect the phenotype of host MPs, and how does this influence vaccine efficacy and susceptibility pathogenic Mycoplasmas?


    • Dr. Arlind Mara is a Bacteriologist and Immunologist with a keen interest in understanding how bacterial pathogens interact with host immune cells to culminate in either protective or maladaptive immune responses. He obtained his doctorate in Pathobiology (Concentration: Bacteriology) at UConn where his dissertation research focused on understanding how vaccination with Mycoplasma pneumoniae lipoproteins lead to maladaptive immunity that contributed to disease exacerbation.
    • Dr. Mara was then a NIH NRSA funded postdoctoral associate at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, where he investigated the functions that mononuclear phagocytes, in particular monocytes and lung interstitial macrophages, play during pulmonary inflammation that occurs during bacterial infection or allergic airway disease.During this time, he also identified a novel and critical requirement for Natural antibodies in the initiation of type 2 (allergic) inflammation in response to Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs).
    • Prior to returning to UConn, as a Research Associate at the Center of Excellence for Vaccine Research, he served as an ORISE Biodefense Research Fellow in the Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit (FADRU) at the USDA Plum Island Animal Disease Center, where he worked on Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus, a high consequence pathogen of cloven-hoofed animals.
    Arlind Mara
    Contact Information
    PhoneOffice: (860) 486-2845
    Lab: (860) 486-0836