Utpal Pal’s research focuses on common tick-borne infections, primarily Lyme disease. He leads multiple interdisciplinary studies that address the underlying mechanisms by which Lyme disease agents are maintained in arthropod vectors (black-legged ticks), are transmitted to mammalian hosts via tick bites, and cause multisystem disorders; this information is applied to the development of new interventions against the infection, such as novel therapeutics or vaccines. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed academic journals and books, provided professional services to federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, and collaborated with large pharmaceutical companies, including a long-term collaboration with Merck & Co. towards the development of novel anti-tick vaccines. Besides teaching multiple graduate-level courses, he served as the director of the departmental graduate program and as an investigator/mentor on multiple federal training grants, serving as the primary advisor and mentor for many undergraduate researchers, Ph.D. students, and postdoctoral fellows.
In 2019, he became an elected fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, which is devoted to the training of the new generation of microbiologists. Pal received his doctoral degree in Zoology from the University of Calcutta, India, and his postdoctoral training from the Yale University School of Medicine.