My clinical interest work focuses on infectious diseases, particularly those caused by Staphylococcus aureus. I practice medicine and infectious diseases at the VA Western New York Healthcare System. The service here treats veterans with a wide variety of infectious diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C. I attend on the inpatient service. Medical students, residents, and fellows evaluate and follow infectious disease consultations with me on the inpatient service.
I am also an Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum at the Jacobs School and I teach extensively in the Medical School. I also serve as Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine. I enjoy working with students throughout the full spectrum of medical education, from first-year medical students to senior fellows in Infectious Disease.
My research interests dovetail with my clinical work. I currently do mainly bioinformatics projects on the large VA database with an emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic. I previously studied Staphylococcal infections, particularly complications related to S. aureus bloodstream infections. That work made use of bioinformatics and database design, techniques that support my ongoing collaborations with other investigators on bioinformatics problems, particularly with Moraxella catarrhalis and Haemophilus influenzae.
Prior to my studies in S. aureus, I conducted research on a fascinating pathogen, H. influenzae biogroup aegyptius and Brazilian Purpuric Fever. Over that 10-year period my laboratory identified a unique epitope on a surface proteins associated with the disease. We were able to create the only isogenic mutant so far described with this pathogen that is highly refractory to genetic manipulation.
Education and Training:
Fellowship, Research Fellowship in Infectious Diseases, University of Virginina (1987)
Fellowship, Clinical Fellowship in Infectious Disease, University of Virginia Affiliated Program (1985)
Residency, Internal Medicine, Temple University (1984)
MD, University of Virginia (1981)
BA, University of Virginia (1977)
Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (2015-present)
Vice Chair for Education, Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (2012-present)
Associate Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medicine, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Microbiology and Immunology, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (1994-present)
Chief, Infectious Disease, VA Western NY Healthcare System (2009–2018)
Acting Associate Chief of Staff, Research, VA Western New York Healthcare System (2010)
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medicine, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, State University of New York at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (1987–1994)
Research Fellow in Infectious Diseases, University of Virginia School of Medicine (1985–1987)
Clinical Fellow in Infectious Diseases, University of Virginia Affiliated Hospitals Program (1984–1985)
Medical Resident, Department of Medicine, Temple University (1982–1984)
Medical Intern, Department of Medicine, Temple University (1981–1982)
Awards and Honors:
Dean's Award (2019)
Steven H. Noyes, MD, House Staff Teaching Award (2015)
Faculty AOA (2015)
2014 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014)
Letter of Commendation for Pre-Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching (2014)
Letter of Commendation for Pre-Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching (2012)
Pharmacology and Toxicology Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Pharmacol (2011)
Letter of Commendation for Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching Exc (2010)
Letter of Commendation for Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching Exc (2005)
Letter of Commendation for Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching Exc (2001)
White Coat Award, Resident Teaching Award in Medicine (1999)
Recipient of Recognition Award from the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Associat (1999)
Letter of Commendation for Pre-Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching (1998)
Letter of Commendation for Pre-Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching (1997)
Letter of Commendation for Pre-Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching (1995)
Letter of Commendation for Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching Exc (1993)
Recipient of the Pre-Clinical Teaching Award, Siegel Committee for Teaching (1992)
Recipient of the first F. Carter Pannill Housestaff Teaching Award (1991)
Recipient of the Pre-Clinical Teaching Award, Siegel Committee for Teaching (1990)
Letter of Commendation for Pre-Clinical Teaching, Siegel Cmte. for Teaching (1989)
Infections with Staphylococcus aureus: I have both a research and clinical interest in infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus. My clinical interest involves blood stream infections and community-associated MRSA infections. My research interests center on the clinical and molecular epidemiology of blood stream isolates, including whole genomic sequencing and the bioinformatic approach to analyzing virulence factors.
Grants and Sponsored Research:
August 2015–September 2017 BIG DATA SCIENTIST TRAINING ENCHANCEMENT PROGRAM (BD-STEP)-BD-STEP VA and National Cancer Institute Role: Co-Principal Investigator $60,000
September 2014–November 2015 VA HSR&D Grant Title: Gown and Glove Use to Prevent the Spread of Infection in VA Community Living Centers VA HSR&D Role: Co-Investigator $72,000
January 2007–December 2012 Pathogenesis of Haemophilus influenzae Infections in COPD NIH Role: Co-Investigator $1,225,125
January 1987–June 2012 Development of a vaccine for Moraxella catarrhalis (RO1AI28304)Pathogenesis of Moraxella catarrhalis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (2R56AI1028304) NIH Role: Co-Investigator $1,250,000
June 2007–December 2010 A Population-Based Study of Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia In Western New York Oishei Foundation Role: Co-Investigator $690,500
September 2002–August 2007 Development of a vaccine for H. influenzae NIH Role: Co-Investigator $1,200,000
October 1996–September 2000 Virulence Factors of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius Veterans Administration Merit Review Role: Principal Investigator $160,400
April 1994–March 1996 Virulence Factors of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius Veterans Administration Merit Review Role: Co-Investigator $174,100
July 1987–March 1988 Pathogenesis of Bacterial Meningitis, Basic Science Research Group Basic Science Research Group, SUNY Buffalo Role: Principal Investigator
Vaccine Antigens for Moraxella catarrhalis Method for stimulating immune response against Moraxella catarrhalis (2010)
Murphy TF, Lesse AJ, Kirkham C., Zhong H., Sethi S, Munson Jr. R.S. (2011) A Clonally Related Group of Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Adapted to Infection in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. PLoS ONE (Jan), 6(10): e2592.
Segada LM, Carlone GM, Gheesling LL, Lesse AJ. (2000) Characterization of P1-deficient isogenic mutant of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius associated with Brazilian purpuric fever. Microb Pathog (Mar), 28(3): 145-155.
Russo TA, Wenderoth S, Carlino UB, Merrick JM, Lesse AJ. (1998) Identification, genomic organization, and analysis of the group III capsular polysaccharide genes kpsD, kpsM, kpsT, and kpsE from an extraintestinal isolate of Escherichia coli (CP9, O4/K54/H5). J Bacteriol (Jan), 180(2): 338-349.
Reed RB, Frost JB, Kort K, Myers SD, Lesse AJ. (1996) DNA sequence analysis and restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the P1 gene of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius associated with Brazilian purpuric fever. Infect Immun (Sep), 64(9): 3666-3672.
Antalek MD, Mylotte JM, Lesse AJ, Sellick JA. (1995) Clinical and molecular epidemiology of Enterococcus faecalis bacteremia, with special reference to strains with high-level resistance to gentamicin. Clin Infect Dis (Jan), 20(1): 103-109.
Anthony Campagnari, Karalus R, Apicella M, Melaugh W, Alan Lesse, Gibson BW. (1994) Use of pyocin to select a Haemophilus ducreyi variant defective in lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis. Infect Immun (Jun), 62(6): 2379-2386.
Lesse AJ, Bittner WE. (1993) Expression of an immunoreactive 72 kDa protein in strains of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius associated with Brazilian purpuric fever. Microb Pathog (Oct), 15(4): 319-326.
Spinola SM, Kwaik YA, Alan Lesse, Anthony Campagnari, Apicella MA. (1990) Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of a Haemophilus influenzae type b lipooligosaccharide synthesis gene(s) that encodes a 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid epitope. Infect Immun (Jun), 58(6): 1558-1564.
Anthony Campagnari, Spinola SM, Alan Lesse, Kwaik YA, Mandrell RE, Apicella MA. (1990) Lipooligosaccharide epitopes shared among gram-negative non-enteric mucosal pathogens. Microb Pathog (May), 8(5): 353-362.
Mandrell RE, Lesse AJ, Sugai JV, Shero M, Griffiss JM, Cole JA, Parsons NJ, Smith H, Morse SA, Apicella MA. (1990) In vitro and in vivo modification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae lipooligosaccharide epitope structure by sialylation. J Exp Med (May), 171(5): 1649-1664.
Alan Lesse, Anthony Campagnari, Bittner WE, Apicella MA. (1990) Increased resolution of lipopolysaccharides and lipooligosaccharides utilizing tricine-sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. J Immunol Methods (Jan), 126(1): 109-117.
Lesse AJ, Moxon ER, Zwahlen A, Scheld WM. (1988) Role of cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis and Haemophilus influenzae type b capsule on blood brain barrier permeability during experimental meningitis in the rat. J Clin Invest (Jul), 82(1): 102-109.
Parameswaran GI, Sethi S, Willet A., Lesse AJ. (2013) Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in COPD. ATS International Conference, Philadephia, PA, (May)
Berim I.G., Lesse AJ, Eberhardt E., Grove L.J., Wrona C., Murphy TF, Sethi S. (2011) New Strain Acquisition Of Staphylococcus Aureus In Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Is Not Associated With Exacerbations. ATS International Conference, Denver, CO, (May)
Medical Education Senior Leadership; AAMC Group (2019–present)
Infectious Disease Society of America; Fellow (1990–present)
"The COVID 19 Pandemic: A Magnifying Lens for Health Disparities" Igniting Hope Conference (2020)
Chair of Chief of General Medicine Search Committee; Chair of Chief of General Medicine Search Committee (2022)