Jessica Kissinger

Lamar Dodd Creative Research Award

Jessica Kissinger

Jessica Kissinger, Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Genetics and former director of the UGA Institute of Bioinformatics, has focused her interdisciplinary career on the question of how parasites evolve. She has been a driving force behind the groundbreaking effort to create and maintain novel bioinformatics databases covering omics data for hundreds of dangerous pathogens. The Eukaryotic Pathogen, Vector, and Host Informatics Resources knowledgebase ( is an integrated, centralized resource for data mining on more than 500 organisms. Databases searches are free, permitting researchers to gain insights into and test hypotheses that may pave the way for new approaches to treating or preventing diseases such as malaria and Cryptosporidium (a waterborne parasite). Kissinger has used the databases and other bioinformatics tools to make remarkable discoveries, including tracing the evolution and movement of genes within the genomes of Apicomplexa, a phylum of microscopic parasites. She hosts bioinformatics workshops worldwide, helping to make these tools more accessible.

Previous Award

  • Creative Research MedalĀ 2009
  • Distinguished Research Professor 2017