Editor’s note: This video profile is part of a series about UGA faculty who were named Distinguished Research Professors in 2017.
Jessica Kissinger, professor of genetics, is a globally recognized molecular biologist and world expert in bio-computational research whose contributions to the field of eukaryotic pathogen research have helped transform how pathogen research is conducted internationally.
An expert on the evolution of parasite genomes, she conducted the first systematic survey of gene transfer in the Apicomplexa, upending prevailing thought. Her subsequent series of papers on the Apicomplexa also opened a new window into genome evolution and the biology of several other important disease-causing organisms.
Her most recognized and sustained contribution to science has been the co-creation, maintenance and enhancement of integrated omics tools to facilitate research on eukaryotic pathogens.
The databases and program resources developed under Kissinger’s leadership have evolved into a global team continuously supported by NIH for 15 years and designated an NIH Bioinformatics Resource Center. At UGA, she established the pre-eminent bioinformatics group in the area of parasitic diseases.