Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Infectious Diseases

Faculty Profiles

[Return To Index page]
photo Lora Lee Pless, PhD

Infectious Diseases

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine

Director, Microbiology and Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory (MiGEL)


Office: Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop St, E1053
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Administrative Assistant:
Megan Moore
Phone: 412-624-9583
Education and Training
B.S., University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, PA, 2003
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, 2016
Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Pittsburgh Health system (VAPHS), Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), 2022
Post-Doctoral Scholar, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychiatry Pittsburgh, PA, 2022
Research Interest
Dr. Pless is a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Microbial Genomics Epidemiology Laboratory (MiGEL). Her research interests include:
•Epidemiology of hospital acquired infections
•Advanced genomic sequencing and identification of infectious pathogens
•Whole genome sequencing of bacterial, viral, and fungal organisms
•"Big Data" wrangling and analysis utilizing genetic and phenotypic sources of data
Clinical Interest
Dr. Pless leads the real-time whole genome sequencing and identification efforts of pathogenic organisms in MiGEL, an essential component of the Enhanced Detection System for Healthcare-Associated Transmission (EDS-HAT). Dr. Pless works closely with the UPMC Infection Prevention Team to identify outbreak clusters of nosocomial infections.
Educational Interest
Dr. Pless is a guest lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Topics covered include genomic advancements in complex disease. She has mentored and trained numerous students, fellows, and scientists at the University of Pittsburgh.