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The Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology, and Infectious Disease welcomes your comments or questions.


Dr. Richard Kuhn - Krenicki Family Director

Richard Kuhn received his B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook as well as his Ph.D. 1986 studying poliovirus. He then joined the Department of Microbiology where he did graduate research studying poliovirus replication in the laboratory of Dr. Eckard Wimmer. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1986 he joined the laboratory of Dr. James Strauss at the California Institute of Technology where he studied the replication of alphaviruses using molecular genetic approaches. He was recruited to Purdue University as an assistant professor in the Markey Center for Structural Biology. His research at Purdue has focused on the replication and assembly of the alphaviruses and the flaviviruses. Together with his structural biology colleagues including Michael Rossmann, he has been involved in many fundamental studies examining the structure and assembly of enveloped viruses, including the first structure of dengue virus. His focus continues to be in virus replication, virion assembly, pathogenesis, and host cell interactions using biochemical, genetic, and structural techniques. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was an American Society for Microbiology lecturer. He is the chair of the U.S. Panel on Viral Diseases of the US-Japan Cooperative Medical Sciences Program at NIAID. Purdue honors include selection as a University Faculty Scholar from 2004-2009 and the Herbert Newby McCoy Award for Outstanding Research Contributions in 2008. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Virology (1996-present), Virology (2002-present), Viruses (2009-present), and is an editor (2012-2017) of Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews and associate editor of PLoS Pathogens. He is the author of over 175 publications. His current positions are Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Krenicki Family Director, Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. He served as Department Head of Biological Sciences from 2005-2016. He has served the ASV as Chair of the Education and Career Development Committee (2004-2006) and as Vice Chair (2012-2013) and Chair of the Program Committee (2014-2015).

Dr. Tommy Sors - Director, Scientific Strategy and Relations


Thomas (Tommy) Sors has been with PI4D since its inception in 2016, driving the strategic direction and managing the daily operations of the Institute. Dr. Sors is responsible for forming research teams and catalyzing the development of large center-type grants that support innovation translation, from research and development to commercialization. Dr. Sors is also the Director of Operation at Purdue for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), where he has established a reputation for connecting investigators from across the region to core facilities and research collaborators at Purdue. Dr. Sors came to PI4D after serving in the Bindley Bioscience Center starting in 2010, first as Center Project Manager, and then as Chief Scientific Liaison. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University in Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology and remained at Purdue to complete his post-doctoral research in the Department of Biochemistry with Dr. Clint Chapple. Dr. Sors can be found in Discovery Learning Research (DLR), RM 436, or you can contact him by phone at (765) 494-1678 or by email at

Ms. Robin Benson - Senior Research Administrative Coordinator


Robin joined Purdue in 2018 in  the Statistics department, where her 15 years of professional experience contributed to administrative operations and office efficiency within a very detail-oriented, deadline-driven environment. She has worked in industries such as management development, scientific manufacturing/research, law and higher education. A native of Massachusetts and ardent fan of all sports New England, Robin now enjoys attending Purdue games with family and friends. Her hobbies are gardening, growing African violets and reading. Her son, a recent high school graduate, is now attending Ball State. Robin is located in Discovery Learning Research Building (DLR) Room 425 feel free to contact her at 765-494-1902 or by email at


Ms. Melanie Lindsay - Senior Research Administrative Coordinator


Melanie was hired at Purdue in 1994, while working she continued to take classes and received her B.A. in 1996. Over the last 20 plus years, she has worked in the College of Science Counseling office, Women in Science Program, The Computing Research Institute, The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, Biological Sciences Main office and now the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and infectious Disease. With all these different groups, she has a large knowledge of people from across campus and disciplines.

She is married to Drake, and they have two beautiful daughters, Nicole and Jessica. Nicole has graduated from Purdue University, and Jessica is currently attending college. The entire family loves to tailgate at Purdue football games. Her hobbies are reading, scrapbooking and being with family and friends. She is located in Discovery Learning Research (DLR), RM 425; feel free to contact her at 494-0238 or send an email to

Dr. Raluca Ostafe - MEPEP Facility Director


Raluca was born in Romania and did her PhD in Aachen University, Germany. After finishing a post doctoral fellowship at Harvard University, she became group manager in directed evolution and high-throughput screening at Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology in Germany. Her research career has been focused on molecular evolution of different enzymes, development of high-throughput screening systems based on flow cytometry and microfluidic devices, development of new enzymatic assays and production and purification of recombinant proteins from multiple host systems. She has extensive experience in molecular biology, creation of protein libraries, biochemical characterization of proteins, protein expression and purification, microbiology, cell biology, patient sample handling, blood cell types isolation, microfluidic chip development and production and cell compartmentalization methods. Dr. Ostafe also worked in the fields of vaccine development, protein crystallization and metabolic engineering. Dr. Ostafe can be found in Discovery Learning Research (DLR), RM 431, or you can contact her by phone at (765) 494-4012 or by email at


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