StMU Faculty Gary Ogden
  • Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1983
  • M.A., University of Nebraska, 1978
  • B.A., Merrimack College, 1976
  • Genetic Principles
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology & Infection
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Genes & Genomes

Gary B. Ogden, Ph.D., feels fortunate to have had professors who enthusiastically shared with him their love for genetics, cell biology and microbiology during his years as an undergraduate student. As a Professor of Biological Sciences at St. Mary’s University, Ogden wants his students to feel the same way.

Mentoring undergraduate students who are passionate about biomedical research, forensic science and the health professions was a lifelong goal of Ogden’s. He developed a deep love of education while teaching microbiology laboratories and related classes as a graduate student. He resigned from Yale University’s School of Medicine in 1991, where he studied the molecular biology of the causative agent of American trypanosomiasis, Trypanosoma cruzi, as a research faculty member, to join the Department of Biological Sciences at St. Mary’s.

Ogden frequently involves students in his own research endeavors. Splitting his time at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as an adjunct associate professor of microbiology, Ogden collaborated as a co-principal investigator on two Department of Veterans Affairs-funded research grants for studies involving Leishmania donovani, the causative agent of a frequently fatal tropical disease, visceral leishmaniasis. This research employed Ogden’s ideas for utilizing a novel DNA-immunization approach in creating a vaccine for leishmaniasis. By immunizing mice with sequential fractions of a L. donovani cDNA expression library, they discovered that Leishmania histone antigens are targets of the immune response against this parasite.

In 2005, while on sabbatical at Harvard Medical School, Ogden conducted proprietary research and utilized the lambda Red recombinase system to construct directed genetic knockouts in mycobacteria. Ogden has also collaborated with colleagues at St. Mary’s and UTHSCSA on research concerning apoptosis induction in a breast cancer cell line and other projects. Ogden finds it gratifying that these studies have afforded opportunities for many St. Mary’s undergraduates to actively participate in laboratory research.

In fact, it was undergraduate research opportunities that inspired Ogden to pursue his own graduate studies, specifically while working on his senior undergraduate research project concerning methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The research for his master’s degree involved microscopy, cell fractionation and cell culture techniques in determining the effect of Naegleria fowleri, a causative agent of primary amebic meningoencephalitis, on primary mouse neuron cell cultures.

Realizing the importance of learning the then “new” recombinant DNA techniques, Ogden applied recombinant DNA, biological and biochemical techniques to the characterization of nucleoprotein complexes in the DNA tumor virus, SV40, for his doctoral research. Continuing to study DNA replication as a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts Medical School, Ogden used recombinant DNA and other techniques to make significant discoveries on the role of methylation in the functioning of Escherichia coli’s origin of DNA replication (oriC).

He has also received multiple grants, including two National Science Foundation instrumentation grants, to support his laboratory teaching efforts, and he was the program director for the National Institutes of Health’s Support for Continuous Research Excellence Program at St. Mary’s University; this grant provided funds used to construct research facilities and support research by St. Mary’s faculty.The St. Mary’s University Alumni Association recognized him with the Gateway Million+ Club Award on Jan. 2015.

In addition to teaching and research at St. Mary’s, Ogden is active in curriculum development as a consultant and reviewer of medical microbiology and molecular cell biology textbooks for several publishers, including ASM Press, Elsevier, Garland Science, Jones and Bartlett, Wiley, and Williams and Wilkins.


Ogden, G. B. and P. C. Melby, “Leishmania.” In: M. Schaechter (ed.), Eukaryotic Microbes. (First Ed.), Acad. Press, San Diego, pp 335, 2012.

Ogden, G. B. and P. C. Melby, “Leishmaniasis.” In: M. Schaechter (ed.), Encyclopedia of Microbiology. (Third Ed.), Vol 3, Acad. Press, San Diego, pp 663, 2009.

Korkmaz A., H. Tamura, L.C. Manchester, G.B. Ogden, D.X. Tan, R.J. Reiter. 2009. Combination of melatonin and a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma agonist induces apoptosis in a breast cancer cell line. J. Pineal Res. 2009, 46(1), p. 115.

Melby, P.C., G.B. Ogden, J. Yang, L.E. Perez, W. Zhao, W. Park, L. Elizondo. “Histone antigens are targets of the immune response in experimental visceral leishmaniasis.” Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 2001, 65:447 (Abstract).

Melby, P.C., G.B. Ogden, H.A. Flores, W. Zhao, C. Geldmacher, N.M. Biediger, S.K. Ahuja, J. Uranga and M. Melendez. 2000. Identification of vaccine candidates for experimental visceral leishmaniasis by immunization with sequential fractions of a cDNA expression library. Infection and Immunity 68, p. 5595.

Ogden, G. B. 2000. Screening chicken eggs for the presence of anti-Salmonella antibodies. Linked to (ASM peer reviewed education article)

Ogden, G.B., “The isolation and characterization of chicken IgY is an effective tool for teaching undergraduate immunology laboratories.” ASM Regional Microbiology Education Conference, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, November 10-11, 2000 (Abstract and Invited Workshop Presenter).

Ogden, G.B., T. Uranga, J. Cheng, B. Chandrasekar, L. Perez, and P.C. Melby, “Molecular cloning and sequencing of a cDNA for a gene highly conserved Leishmania.” 1999, ASM Conference on a Cell Biology Approach to Microbial Pathogenesis, Portland, OR, April 25-28, 1999 (Abstract).

Ogden, G.B., “Effective protozoal models for enhancing undergraduate student’s interest and training in cell and molecular biology.” Gordon research Conference on Teaching Undergraduate Microbiology, New London, CT, June 26-July 1, 1999.

Manchester, L.C., B. Poeggeler, F.L. Alvares, G.B. Ogden, and R.J. Reiter. 1996. Melatonin immunoreactivity in the photosynthetic prokaryote Rhodospirillum rubrum: Implications for an ancient antioxidant system, Cell. and Molec. Biol. Res. 41, p. 391.

Uranga, A., P.C. Melby, and G.B. Ogden. “Comparative analysis of Leishmania mexicana promastigote and amastigote cDNA by differential gene display.” 1996 NIGMS-Minority Programs Research Symposium, Miami, FL, October 18-19, 1996.

Ogden, G.B., “Using project-oriented laboratories to enhance undergraduate students’ training in immunology.” 95th Gen. Meet. Amer. Soc. Microbiol., Washington, D.C., May 21-25, 1995 (Abstract).

Tambourgi, D.V., T.L. Kipnis, W. Dias da Silva, K.A. Joiner, A. Sher, S. Heath, B.F. Hall and G.B. Ogden. 1993. A partial cDNA clone of trypomastigote decay-accelerating factor (T-DAF), a developmentally regulated complement inhibitor of Trypanosoma cruzi, has genetic and functional similarities to the human complement inhibitor DAF, Infection and Immunity. 61, p. 3656.

Tambourgi, D.V., G.B. Ogden, B.F. Hall, W. Dias da Silva and T.L. Kipnis. 1993. Biotinylation a fast and reproducible method for labeling Trypanosoma cruzi cell surface proteins, Trop. Med. Parasitol. 44, p. 91.

Tambourgi, D.V., T.L. Kipnis, K.A. Joiner, A. Sher, W. Dias da Silva, C.M. Dias de Abreu, B. F. Hall and G.B. Ogden. 1991. T-DAF: A developmentally regulated complement inhibitor expressed by trypomastigotes of T. cruzi, Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 86, p. 81.

Ogden, G.B., M.J. Pratt and M. Schaechter. 1988. The replicative origin of the E. coli chromosome binds to cell membranes only when hemimethylated. Cell. 54, p. 127.