Elde Lab

department of human genetics








evolutionary genetics & cell biology

Keir Balla



Microbial Pathogenesis Training Grant


Email Keir

Keir moved to San Diego for college where he worked with his grandparents on renovating a train caboose to live in. He mostly studied philosophy as an undergraduate at San Diego State University, but ended up with a degree in Biology. Before beginning his PhD studies, he joined Dr. David Traver’s group as a research technician at UC San Diego where he helped to establish the zebrafish as a model for the development and function of the immune system. To further study immunity with a relatively simple system, he joined the laboratory of Emily Troemel for his PhD studies. There he focused on the interactions between the nematode C. elegans and a natural pathogen to learn about dynamics that have co-evolved to shape the success of host or pathogen.


In the Elde group he plans to build on his previous experiences with host defense by gaining new skills to study pathogen evolution and to develop new models for studying host-pathogen interactions.