Debbie Bratt

Center for Vaccines and Immunology, Ross Lab
Associate Director, NHP Core


The very meaning of inquisitive, by my definition, is a person that is inclined to investigate, eager for knowledge, unduly curious and inquiring. When a person has this trait, they inquire. They ask questions. By nature, this person needs to know as much information as possible.  This is Debbie Bratt. From a very early age, Debbie demonstrated a deep-rooted passion for the sciences where she was inquisitive about all things human and scientific.

During her youth, Debbie decided that she would be a forensic pathologist.  She would tell anyone who listened about forensic sciences and how she was going to be the next Quincy.  She graduated from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle.  Where she obtained a pre-med education with a degree in Biological Anthropology with an emphasis in Primates.  After realizing her passion was more research than medical school, Debbie chose to pursue a career in research at the molecular level.

Debbie spent 20 years researching away at UW, in various research labs (i.e. human genome project, Group B Streptococcus, hearing loss, HIV, Influenza, Zika and Orthopaedics), in various capacities (Research Technician, Animal Technician, Lab Manager, Research Scientist, Program Manager, Flow-Core Manager, and Departmental Research Manager).  Having the capacity to learn new techniques (microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, tissue culture, etc.), technologies (biotechnology, sequencing, array, flow-cytometry, microscopy, vaccines, etc.) and different branches of science (Infectious diseases, Otolaryngology, Virology, Orthopaedics, Primates and Clinical Trial research) allowed her to build quite a range of skills.  Navigating a wide range of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, administration, students, residents, external organizations, research design, samples, and data; proved that Debbie was able to orchestrate the operations of many research programs, ultimately making their science a success.

Noticing that Debbie demonstrated a history of working in the higher education industry, (specifically her work at the WaNPRC) Dr. Karen Norris recruited Debbie to the Center of Vaccines and Immunology (UGA) to be the Assistant Director of Research and Operations.   Words cannot explain her enthusiasm for this new opportunity and the excitement to help drive the Center’s research mission forward.  Honestly, what really piques Debbie’s inquisitive nature, is being around great scientists who are designing novel & innovative research with preventative & therapeutic research goals for the patient who is ultimately suffering.

Research Interests

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Mental Health and Trauma
  • Immunology & Vaccinology of Infectious Diseases
  • HIV, Zika, Influenza, and pneumocystis
  • Research Program Administration
  • Clinical Trials

Educational Background

  • BA (1998).  Majors (Pre-Med, Primatology & Biological Anthropology) University of Washington
  • Clinical Trial Project Manager Certificate (2018)
  • Clinical Research Coordinator (2018)

Selected Publications

Search PubMed for Bratt D

  • O’Connor, M. A., Tisoncik-Go, J., Lewis, T. B., Miller, C. J., Bratt, D., Moats, C. R., Edlefsen, P. T., Smedley, J., Klatt, N. R., Gale, M., … Fuller, D. H. (2018). Early cellular innate immune responses drive Zika viral persistence and tissue tropism in pigtail macaques. Nature communications, 9(1), 3371. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05826-w
  • Munson P, Liu Y, Bratt D, et al. Therapeutic conserved elements (CE) DNA vaccine induces strong T-cell responses against highly conserved viral sequences during simian-human immunodeficiency virus infection. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2018;14(7):1820-1831.
  • Ramsingh, A. I., Gray, S. J., Reilly, A., Koday, M., Bratt, D., Koday, M. T., Murnane, R., Smedley, J., Hu, Y., Messer, A., … Fuller, D. H. (2018). Sustained AAV9-mediated expression of a non-self protein in the CNS of non-human primates after immunomodulation. PloS one, 13(6), e0198154. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0198154
  • Koday, M. T., Leonard, J. A., Munson, P., Forero, A., Koday, M., Bratt, D. L., Fuller, J. T., Murnane, R., Qin, S., Reinhart, T. A., Duus, K., Messaoudi, I., Hartman, A. L., Stefano-Cole, K., Morrison, J., Katze, M. G., … Fuller, D. H. (2017). Multigenic DNA vaccine induces protective cross-reactive T cell responses against heterologous influenza virus in nonhuman primates. PloS one, 12(12), e0189780. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0189780
  • Zevin, A. S., Moats, C., May, D., Wangari, S., Miller, C., Ahrens, J., Iwayama, N., Brown, M., Bratt, D., Klatt, N. R., … Smedley, J. (2017). Laparoscopic Technique for Serial Collection of Liver and Mesenteric Lymph Nodes in Macaques. Journal of visualized experiments: JoVE, (123), 55617. doi:10.3791/55617