Elizabeth “Betzi” Norton,  MPH, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Mucosal immunity, Immunologic mechanisms of vaccination, Enhancement of protective immunity with vaccine adjuvants, impact of age or underlying chronic disease on immunologic function.

Mucosal surfaces constitute the largest and most important interface between the body and the outside environment. In addition to maintaining normal physiology, the mucosa must prevent entry, infection, and dissemination of dangerous pathogens. The innate and adaptive immune responses play pivotal roles in preventing or limiting infections. An effective vaccine can enhance this mucosal immunity without the risks and sequelae associated with primary infection.

Vaccine adjuvants can facilitate the induction and/or enhancement of protective mucosal immunity to co-administered or co-delivered antigens through their capacity to act as an immunostimulant. Some of the most potent mucosal adjuvants are the bacterially derived ADP-ribosylating enterotoxins including heat-labile toxin from Escherichia coli (LT), its mutants or subunits. This enterotoxin promotes induction of antigen-specific sIgA antibodies and long lasting memory to co-administered antigens when administered mucosally.

My research focus is mucosal immunity and immunologic mechanisms of vaccination. In particular, I am interested in how infection or vaccination can target specific cell populations involved in antigen transport and processing, enhance Th17 cell development and induce IgA production. Two particular areas of interest are mucosal administration and vaccine adjuvants, either of which can optimize protective immune responses at key mucosal surfaces.

Eduardo Valli, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: During his PhD research, he studied thyroid hormone signaling on cancer cells and responses of immune cells during alteration of thyroid levels in a mouse model. He specialized in Tregs, studying changes in their activity during experimental hypothyroidism. In his current postdoctoral role, he is applying his previous experience of cultured immune cells to address the mechanism of adjuvanticity of LT derived proteins.


Robin Baudier, MFA

Laboratory Manager, MSPH in Biostatistics student

Research Interests: Exploring the effects of aging and immune activation through RNA-sequencing, microbiome 16s sequencing, cluster analyses, and flow cytometry.


Amanda Harriett, MPH

Doctoral Student, BMS Program

Research Interests: Improvement and validation of vaccine adjuvants through exploration of production methods, purification techniques, stabilization and novel assay design.


Victoria Carle

Undergraduate Trainee




Margaret Nowakowska

Undergraduate Trainee




Zachary McSween, BA

Anatomy Masters Student Trainee






Previous Norton Lab Members:

1st row: Kristin Chandler (laboratory technician), William Provosty (Medical Student), Monica Blazek (De Bakey Scholar Medical Student), Lauren Kodroff (Doctoral Student in Aging Studies), 

2nd row: Luke Davis (Undergraduate Trainee), Nick Anzalone (Microbiology & Immunology Masters Student Trainee), Keenan Ramsey (Undergraduate Trainee), Joel Rosenblum (Undergraduate Trainee), 

3rd row: Saba Qurban (Microbiology & Immunology Masters Student Trainee),Clairissa Mulloy (Laboratory Technician), Rong Fan (School of Public Health Masters Student Trainee)

not shown: Andrew Beeco (Undergraduate Trainee)



Comments are closed.