Keith Garrison

Keith Garrison


School of Science » Biochemistry
School of Science » Biology
SMC Email Address: 
Contact Information: 

Brousseau Hall - 204

Phone: 925-631-4174


  • Ph.D. Genetics, University of California at Davis, June 2004
    Disseration: Nucleotide Sequence Polymorphism in Ancient Cultivars of Grape (Vitis vinifera L.)
  • B.A. Molecular and Cell Biology, U.C. Berkeley, August 1995

Professional Experience

Research Experience:

  • Post-doctoral fellow - University of California San Francisco and Gladstone Institutes (January 2005 - July 2008)
    HIV Immunology and Virology

Teaching Experience:

  • Assistant Professor - Saint Mary's College of California (August 01, 2008 - Present)
  • Lecturer-Introductory Biology - University of San Francisco (January 2008 - May 2008)

Professional Experience:

  • Technical Support and Training Scientist - Hitachi Genetic Systems (December 1997 - June 1999)
  • Researcher and Criminalist - California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory (October 1994 - December 1997)

Courses Taught

Recently Taught:

  • Immunology (BIO 139), BIO1

Regularly Taught:

  • Immunology (BIO 139), Molecular Biology (BIO 137), BIO 1 and 2, General Biology (BIO 50).




Selected Presentations

  • Reciprocal cross heterologous immunity between HERVs and HIV-1 provides a novel HIV-1 vaccine strategy.. Garrison, Keith (primary presenter, poster)
    Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Los Angeles, California and updated at Keystone Symposium on HIV Vaccines, Whistler, Canada
  • Use of retroelement sequences as markers for intracultivar diversity in grape (Vitis vinifera). Garrison, Keith (primary presenter, poster)
    International Society of Plant Molecular Biology
    (June 2003)



Scholarly Interests: 


  • I joined the faculty of Saint Mary's College from a post-doctoral position at UCSF doing research in HIV immunology. My current research in this area consists of a fusion of genetics and immunology working to identify new potential vaccine targets against HIV. I am especially interested in the activity of endogenous retroviruses and other types of mobile genetic elements within the cell upon HIV infection. I am also interested in following up on collaborative work I have done with a French research group in the Alsace (and recently published) focusing on mobile genetic elements in plants. The wine grape varieties with which we are all familiar, such as Pinot noir or Chardonnay, represent a single genetic lineage that remains unbroken since the inception of the variety. In the case of Pinot noir, the inception of the variety in France is believed to pre-date the time of the Roman Empire. Within this prolonged time period of cultivation, subtypes of varieties have emerged that have economically important quality differences, but very few known genetic distinctions. My collaborators and I are interested in measuring retroelement mobility as a potentially useful genetic marker for discriminating these important subtypes within varieties of wine grapes.