Barb Katzenback

Barb Katzenback
Associate Professor
Location: B2 356
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 30192 ext. 36551 (lab)


Professor Katzenback's research interests are in examining how environmental stress influences the immune system, and health, of amphibians with the goal of understanding how these interactions are contributing to the worldwide decline of amphibians. To this end, their research aims are to 1) elucidate the mechanisms of amphibian innate immunity, 2) characterize host-pathogen interactions and 3) study how abiotic environmental stressors (i.e. climate change, contaminants), alone or in combination with biotic stressors (pathogens), impact innate immune function and the health status of amphibians.

The North American wood frog (Rana sylvatica), a unique group of terrestrial hibernators that survive whole body freezing during winter months, and the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), a dehydration tolerant frog and well-studied model organism, are exciting models to analyze host-pathogen-environment interactions.

Current Research Themes in the Katzenback Lab:

1. Development of amphibian cell lines
2. Amphibian - Frog Virus 3 interactions
3. Regulation of innate immune defenses in response to environmental stressors.

Research Interests

  • Innate immunity of amphibians
  • Regulation of innate immune cell development (macrophages, neutrophils) from progenitor cell populations
  • Host-pathogen-environment interactions


  • Ph.D. Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Alberta, Canada
  • B.Sc. Honours Immunology and Infection (with Distinction), University of Alberta, Canada

Selected/Recent Publications