Dr. Alexander has many research interests, all related to microbial ecology. She is a trained microbiologist with specialties in Parasitology, Immunology and Molecular Biology. She has published peer-reviewed articles focused on bioremediation, EGFR ligands, Chagas’ disease-related pathology, colon cancer, host genetics and disease, gastrointestinal biodiversity and inflammatory diseases in the GI tract. She currently uses her lab to understand how natural products might prove beneficial in the fight against inflammatory diseases like colon cancer. Her lab’s recent research findings demonstrate a role for species-specific probiotics in reducing colon cancer morbidity and mortality. She is also certified in ethics. Dr. Alexander, who served as the Deputy Director for Research for Tuskegee University’s Health Disparities Institute for Research and Education, has been actively involved in research that seeks to reduce health disparities in the Alabama Black Belt Counties. She is an avid researcher who has mentored more than 190 undergraduate and graduate students from various disciplines. In 2015 and 2016 she was recognized as a White House Champion of Change. In 2020 she was nominated for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring.
Moreover, Dr. Alexander has been a member of numerous grant proposal writing teams, which have coordinately been awarded millions of dollars from the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The National Institutes of Health, the USDA/NIFA, and the National Science Foundation. These awards have supported the education and research of hundreds of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Dr. Alexander is teaches more than a dozen courses each year, including bioethics, parasitology, epidemiology, molecular biology and environmental health sciences. She has been a reviewer for NSF, HHMI, NOAA, the USDA and several book publishers. She is also a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and Sigma Xi. She also sings, writes short stories, assembles genealogies for African-American families and, occasionally, takes a day off to enjoy a good clearance sale.