Judith M. Ball
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
As a faculty member, Dr. Judith Ball participates in research, teaching and service at TAMU, and thoroughly enjoys each of these activities. She graduated with a Ph.D. in biochemistry after working as a medical technologist for 12 years. Subsequently, she completed three postdocs (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Baylor College of Medicine) which prepared her for the challenges faced in academia. The focus of Dr. Ball’s research is the molecular and biochemical aspects of viruses, viral interactions with host cell moieties and intracellular transport, in particular unconventional pathways. The overall goal of her work is to identify unique therapeutic targets for viral intervention. Employing a multitude of techniques, including yeast two-hybrid assays, laser-scanning confocal microscopic techniques, fluorescent spectroscopy, synthetic peptide chemistry, protein analyses and mutagenesis studies to explore protein transport and activity. Dr. Ball’s primary interest is rotavirus, the single most important cause of pediatric, life-threatening gastroenteritis that annually claims ~610,000 young lives worldwide.
Dr. Ball also studies animal viral systems that affect human and animal health and their association with plasma membrane microdomains, such as caveolae. In her tenure at TAMU, Dr. Ball has taught seven different undergraduate courses, including virology (didactic and laboratory), immunology and physiological chemistry, as well as directed studies in the laboratory. In addition, Dr. Ball contributes to five, and teaches four, graduate-level courses, including protein transport and viral pathogenesis. For service, Dr. Ball is actively involved in the Faculty Senate and three subcommittees, Faculty Development Leave committee, serves as the faculty advisory for FLIC and chairs the MSL advisory committee, in addition to departmental committees. Her favorite things are the hustle of academia, the constantly changing face of science, and the variety of students encountered each year.