Brandon Jutras, assistant professor of biochemistry, is one of a number of new faculty members hired in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences this academic year.

New positions were identified to bring talent to the college's focus areas, including food, health, the environment, and community viability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

Lyme borreliosis is the most reported vector-borne disease in the United States, a disease caused by the spirochetal bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Using the essential bacterial cell-wall component peptidoglycan as a bio-tool, in conjunction with quantitative microscopy and molecular techniques, Jutras is discovering new biology that underlies the pathogenesis of Lyme disease. Given that B. burgdorferi is, in many ways, the quintessential member of a poorly understood phylum of bacteria that contains the agents responsible for syphilis, relapsing fever, and leptospirosis, his findings extend well beyond just Lyme disease.

He received his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular function from Eastern Illinois University and his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine.