David P. AuCoin

David AuCoin, Ph.D.

Professor; Chair
Targeting microbial antigens for diagnostic and therapeutic applications


Professional Biography

  • 2019 - present: Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNR MED
  • 2015 - present: Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, UNR MED
  • 2015 - 2017: Director, Microbiology and Immunology undergraduate major, UNR
  • 2013 - present: Co-Founder and CSO, DxDiscovery, Reno, Nevada
  • 2013 - 2019: Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNR MED
  • 2007 - 2013: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNR MED
  • 2005 - present: Director, Hybridoma Laboratory, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNR MED
  • 2003 - 2005: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
  • 2002 - 2003: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNR MED

Research Interests

The primary focus of the AuCoin laboratory is to develop diagnostics and therapeutics for infectious diseases. Current funding includes grants and contracts through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and multiple Department of Defense Agencies. All these projects rely on the identification of secreted or circulating microbial antigens that can be targeted for diagnosis of disease. The AuCoin laboratory has developed a novel platform technology termed "In vivo Microbial Antigen Discovery" or InMAD to identify such secreted antigens. InMAD is currently being utilized to identify candidate diagnostic antigens secreted during infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis), Aspergillus fumigatus (invasive aspergillosis) and Francisella tularensis (tularemia).  Other recent projects include development of a rapid diagnostic test for Ebola virus in collaboration with a private sector partner.

Dr. AuCoin received a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1993) followed by a M.S. (1999) and Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno (2002). Dr. AuCoin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University (2005). He lectures on medical microbiology to School of Medicine medical students and recently assisted in the creation of a new undergraduate major, Microbiology and Immunology (MI), through the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Current Lab Members

  • Austin Baldridge, Graduate Student
  • Jacob Dayton, Graduate Student
  • Sujata Pandit Ph.D., Research Scientist
  • Kate Pflughoeft Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor
  • Peter Thorkildson, Staff Research Associate IV
  • Marcie Hollingsworth, Staff Research Associate IV
  • Haydon Hill, Graduate Student

Past Lab Members

  • Heather Green, Ph.D.
  • Derrick Hau, Ph.D.
  • Emily Hannah
  • Farida dwi Handyani M.S.
  • Mark Hubbard Ph.D.
  • Claire Smalley M.S.
  • Michael Dillon Ph.D.
  • Rachael Loban M.S.
  • Kaitlin Basallo M.S.
  • Teerapat Nualnoi Ph.D.
  • Kyle Rosemore M.S.
  • Chris Lovejoy M.S.
  • Michael Mash M.S.
  • Denise Reyes M.S.
  • Haley DeMers Ph.D.


  • 2002: Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
  • 1999: M.S.,  Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
  • 1993: B.S.,  Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst