Dr. Martin Ferris Promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics.
Dr. Ferris earned a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Rochester (NY) in 2002 and a PhD in Biology from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UNC (2008-2013) in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Heise, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the UNC Department of Genetics (2013). Dr. Ferris has been a member of the Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology and the Curriculum in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology since 2014 and currently serves as the Associate Director for the Systems Genetics Core Facility. His research program has focused on how host genetics contributes to susceptibility and/or resistance to infectious diseases and allergies. He initially focused on several alphaviruses (such as influenza and chikungunya) as they were natural extensions to his postdoctoral work, but he then expanded his work to coronaviruses, initially SARS1 but crucially to SARS2 in recent months, and has thus contributed to the UNC response to the global pandemic that engulfs us. In recent years, he also expanded his work to TB and to food allergy, making crucial contributions to these two fields of research. Dr. Ferris’s new appointment is effective January 1, 2021.