About the Lab

The Infectious Diseases Laboratory at Mayo Clinic has a long history of education and innovation in in vitro and in vivo investigations of unique antibacterial therapies, emerging bacterial pathogens, mechanisms of antibacterial resistance and biofilm-mediated infections. Culture-based methods, molecular techniques, animal models and human studies are used.

The origins of research in infectious diseases at Mayo are traced to Dr. Wallace E. Herrell, who established the clinical efficacy and pharmacokinetics of penicillin. And he was the first to describe successful penicillin therapy for sulfonamide-resistant gonococcal arthritis. Dr. Herrell was also the last first assistant to Dr. Charles Mayo. Dr. Joseph E. Geraci later performed a series of landmark studies on bacterial endocarditis and was one of the first to work with vancomycin.

The physical laboratory itself was founded circa 1981 by Walter R. Wilson, M.D., who worked with experimental animal models of endocarditis. Subsequent to Dr. Wilson, the laboratory was under the directorship of James M. Steckelberg, M.D.

Since 2000, Robin Patel, M.D., has been the director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory. She is also the current chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology and the director of its Bacteriology Laboratory.

Dr. Patel's Infectious Diseases Lab is affiliated with Mayo Clinic's Division of Infectious Diseases Research.