John D. Schatzle, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Operations


John D. Schatzle, Ph.D., oversees VGTI Florida's scientific operations and research compliance activities. He serves as chairman of the Insitutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Insitutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and provides direction of resource allocation towards institutional research activities.  In addtition, he coordinates the Institute's research and academic collaborations with other Florida bioscience research organizations and Universities.

Prior to joining VGTI Florida®, Dr. Schatzle served as the chairman of the nationally-ranked Immunology Graduate Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. There, he managed and directed more than 50 faculty members and more than 40 graduate students. He spent 13 years running an independent research program at the medical center, studying the immune system with an emphasis on the biology of “natural killer cells,” naturally occurring cells that under certain conditions have the ability to kill cancer cells and other cells infected with viruses. More recently, he focused on studying lupus in mouse models and has identified a family of genes that result in autoimmunity in both humans and mice. He has had over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles appear in world-renowned publications such as Journal of Immunology, Blood Journal and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Schatzle earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and his doctorate in gene regulation and developmental biology from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He completed his post-doctoral training in retrovirology and oncology from the University of Texas at Austin.