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Matthew Koci

Professor — Immunology, Virology and Host-Pathogen Interactions

Co-director, Animal Health and Nutrition Consortium

Scott Hall 363


Dr. Matthew Koci earned his Bachelor’s of Science from Virginia Tech and his Master’s of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Dr. Koci’s research focuses on understanding how bacteria and viruses cause disease; and how the host responds to those threats. Much of his current work is centered around gut health and deciphering how the intestinal microbiome communicates with the mucosal immune system. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop novel ways of preventing disease and promoting health, welfare and performance.


B.S. Biology Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 1997

M.S. Infectious Diseases University of Georgia, Athens, GA 1999

Ph.D. Pathology University of Georgia, Athens, GA 2003

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Koci is a virologist and immunologist and his research, teaching and outreach program is focused on host-pathogen interactions and understanding how the gut immune system tells friend from foe.

Dr. Koci's laboratory works to understand the immune mechanisms which allow an animal to recognize, respond, eliminate and develop resistance to pathogens. The lab's approach involves understanding both cellular and molecular aspects of the host response. Currently there are three primary research projects in the laboratory: 1) understanding the key innate immune responses involved in pathogenesis and disease resolution of astrovirus induced gastroenteritis, a major cause of diarrhea in turkey poults and humans, 2) understanding how genetic polymorphisms in innate immune response genes affect resistance and susceptibility to infection, and 3) understanding how changes in the intestinal microflora affects gut physiology, mucosal immunity and, ultimately, the overall health of the animal.


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