© 2000 - 2014 Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Lawrence, Christopher , Ph.D.
Faculty - Lawrence, Christopher

Associate Professor, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech

Phone: (540) 231-1907
Email: lawrence@vbi.vt.edu
Fax: 540-231-2606

Lawrence Research Group | Publications | Inflammation research. | Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. | Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Faculty Page


  • Administrative Assistant: Jodi Lewis
    Phone: (540) 231-0714
    Email: jlewis@vbi.vt.edu

Professional Preparation

  • Auburn University, Auburn, AL, Department of Plant Pathology, Ph.D., 1998
  • Auburn University, Auburn, AL, Department of Plant Pathology, M.S., 1983
  • Wageningen University, the Netherlands, Visiting Scholar, 1993

Research Interests

  • The role of the ubiquitous fungus Alternaria in chronic respiratory disorders including asthma, allergic rhinitis, and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)
  • Molecular immunobiology of allergens and other proinflammatory proteins from fungi
  • Hormone-protein interactions including human and plant systems with a particular emphasis on NSAID allergy
  • Alternaria genome sequncing, annotation, and development of database platforms
  • Fungal biotechnology


Dr. Chris Lawrence has over 20 years experience in fungal-host interactions in murine, mammalian, and plant pathosystems. His program is currently focused on genomics and bioinformatics of pathogenic fungal-human interactions. In this regard his group has sequenced and annotated several genomes of Alternaria, one of the world’s most clinically important allergenic fungi associated with severe asthma and chronic sinus diseases (CRS) of humans. Concomitantly, his group has developed methods and tools for functional genomics applications in fungi for assessing gene function in relation to fungal biological processes, proinflammatory activities, and virulence towards mammals. These tools and systems are currently being used to study the molecular immunobiology of allergens and othe proinflammatory proteins from fungi. Bioinformatics is being used to characterize the distribution of allergens in microbial genomes. His laboratory is also bioprospecting, searching for microbes in nature that produce molecules with antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr. Chris Lawrence is an associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and associate professor in Virginia Tech's Department of Biological Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and molecular biology from Auburn University in 1998. Prior to joining VBI in 2003, Lawrence served as an assistant professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics at Colorado State University, the director of a Plant Biotechnology Program at the University of Kentucky, and as a visiting scholar in the Netherlands.

Selected Publications

Babiceanu MC, Howard BA, Rumore AC, Kita H, Lawrence CB. Analysis of global gene expression changes in human bronchial epithelial cells exposed to spores of the allergenic fungus, Alternaria alternata. Frontiers in microbiology. 2013;4.

Park S-W, Li W, Viehhauser A, et al. Cyclophilin 20-3 relays a 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid signal during stress responsive regulation of cellular redox homeostasis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013;110:9559–9564.

Kidane YH, Lawrence C, Murali TM. Computational approaches for discovery of common immunomodulators in fungal infections: towards broad-spectrum immunotherapeutic interventions. BMC microbiology. 2013;13:224.

Kobayashi T, Iijima K, Radhakrishnan S, et al. Asthma-Related Environmental Fungus, Alternaria, Activates Dendritic Cells and Produces Potent Th2 Adjuvant Activity. The Journal of Immunology. 2009;182:2502–2510.

Kim K-H, Willger SD, Park S-W, et al. TmpL, a Transmembrane Protein Required for Intracellular Redox Homeostasis and Virulence in a Plant and an Animal Fungal Pathogen. PLoS Pathog. 2009;5:e1000653.