Jeremy R. Bechelli, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


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Favorite Movie and Why

"The Andromeda Strain directed by Robert Wise in 1971. This is an awesome Sci-Fi movie about extraterrestrial contamination that arrives on earth from a military satellite. This alien pathogen, code named "Andromeda", mutates with each growth cycle, changing its biological properties and causes chaos.  It's a good movie with lots of “science” that was pretty scary back in its day. I think I really like this movie because of the “what if” scenario.  NASA is looking for extraterrestrial life and, if it’s out there, it’s almost certain to be a microbe of some sort… 

Favorite Book and Why

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston released in 1994, the year I started high school. As a young adult, this book was a fascinating and terrifying introduction to the Ebola virus that peaked my interest in biology, particularly infectious diseases. Throughout high school, I read any book on microbiology I could find.  I always found it so fascinating that something so small and “simple” could cause such damage. It wasn't until much later in my education that I realized much of the book was totally fiction: the infection isn’t nearly as bloody as described, and people don’t really liquify or dissolve as portrayed by Preston. But hey, it was a great story and it inspired me to become a microbiologist. In some sense, I have this book to thank for my career today."

Professional Development

Graduate Institution

University of Rochester: M.S.; Microbiology and Immunology                              

University of Texas Medical Branch: Ph.D.; Experimental Pathology  

Undergraduate Institution 

SUNY Brockport: B.A.; Biology                                          

Courses Taught at SHSU

Within Biological Sciences:

General Microbiology

Molecular Biology



Research Interest

My laboratory focuses on tick-borne infectious diseases, particularly spotted fever group Rickettsiae and Colorado Tick Fever Virus (CTFV). We are interested in the host response in infected endothelial cells, as well as the early innate immunological response to these unique pathogens. We utilize a combination of microscopy, molecular, and cell biological approaches to address questions relating to endothelial cell pathobiology and innate immunity. Our efforts are focused on: (1) Identifying the mechanism of cell death induced by Rickettsia and CTFV in human endothelial cells. (2) Identifying the mechanisms of rickettsial evasion of autophagy and how CTFV modulates the signal transduction pathways. (3) Identifying the mechanisms by which CTFV mediates the inflammatory response during endothelial cell infection leading to neuroinvasion. (4) Epidemiology of tick-borne infections and the pathogens carried in our local tick population.

Bechelli Collecting Ticks