Dr. Koehler is Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at McGovern Medical School. She holds the Herbert L. and Margaret W. DuPont Distinguished Professor in Biomedical Science and is a faculty member of the UTH Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Koehler came to the Medical School as an assistant professor in 1991 following a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and her B.S. in Biology at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Koehler studies host-pathogen interactions and signaling among the Bacillus cereus group species. Her NIH-funded research program focuses on Bacillus anthracis. She is especially interested in relationships between bacterial physiology and virulence and she is an internationally recognized anthrax expert.
Koehler has received many commendations for excellence in research and education. In 2008, she became a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the science and profession of microbiology. In 2009, she was awarded the Paul E. Darlington Award from the Graduate School for outstanding mentoring of graduate students. Dr. Koehler is an associate editor of PLoS Pathogens and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Bacteriology. She has chaired multiple national and international scientific conferences and served on several federal advisory committees. She currently chairs the NIH Review Group on Bacterial Pathogenesis.