Assistant Professor

Barb Katzenback.

Current research in my lab focuses on host-pathogen-environment interactions and applies an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate how environmental stress influences the immune system, and health, of animals at the organismal, cellular and molecular levels.

In particular, my research examines the function of the amphibian innate immune system and how environmental stress influences the immune system, and health, of amphibians. To elucidate these interactions, we use two amphibian models: the North American wood frog (Rana sylvatica) and the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). These two amphibians represent a native species and an established amphibian model, respectively, that both endure extreme changes in their environment. My overarching goal is to understand how host-pathogen-environment interactions are contributing to the worldwide decline of amphibians.

Current research projects

  1. Development of amphibian cell lines for use in studying host-pathogen, host-environment and host-pathogen-environment interactions in vitro.
  2. Characterization of amphibian - Frog Virus 3 (FV3) interactions to determine permissive cell types and cellular response to FV3.
  3. Regulation of amphibian innate immune defences in response to environmental stress.


People Behind the Science podcast:


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Alberta

Bachelor of Science (BSc Honours), University of Alberta

University of Waterloo