Senior Associate Dean for Research and Research Training

Professor of Internal Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Donnenberg came to VCU in November, 2016 after 27 years at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He received his MD from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and trained in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Bayview and Tufts/New England Medical Center.

Dr. Donnenberg’s active research effort is focused on the molecular pathogenesis of enteric infections, particularly those due to enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and Clostridium difficile. Despite the vast evolutionary distance separating these potentially deadly microbes, they both produce similar surface appendages called type IV pili. Such pili are used by numerous pathogens to colonize and move along host cell surfaces. Pilus assembly and retraction are powered by a multicomponent membrane-spanning molecular machine. Understanding how this machine works is a long-term goal of the lab. His work has been continuously funded by the NIH for 25 years. His publications include over 100 original manuscripts, numerous reviews, books and book chapters, with over 15,000 citations (view his NCBI library). He is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is a recipient of the Oswald Avery Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Donnenberg also directs the VCU SOM MD-PhD program and advises the SOM Dean and the VCU Vice President for Research and Innovation on matters related to research.