Current Issue | Archives | subscribe | Homepage


Agriculture Development Grant Supports Work of Ghanaian Colleague


Dr. James Futse


Allen School faculty members and affiliated adjunct faculty enjoy many productive collaborations. One such collaboration, designed to improve livestock health and productivity in developing countries, was recently awarded a 3-year Agricultural Development grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Adjunct faculty member Dr. James Futse of the University of Ghana is the Principal Investigator on the project titled “Broad spectrum enhancement of immunity as a strategy to prevent morbidity and mortality due to hemoparasite infection in highly endemic regions.” Allen School Director Dr. Guy Palmer and adjunct faculty member Dr. Susan Noh of the USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit based at WSU, are Co-Investigators

The goal of the newly-funded project is to stimulate innate immunity in cattle as a means to protect against tick-borne diseases, thus allowing for genetic improvement of cattle breeds in resource-poor farming communities. True to the Allen School mission, such improvements can also positively impact both the economic and food security of smallholder farmers.



    As adjunct faculty, Dr. Futse and Dr. Noh are active mentors for Allen School graduate students and contribute expertise to the research of their Allen School colleagues. Drs. Palmer, Futse and Noh have complementary research interests in preventing transmission of Anaplasma marginale, a tick-borne pathogen of cattle, which is found worldwide and has the greatest impact in tropical and subtropical regions.

    Dr. Futse’s primary research, supported by the Wellcome Trust and the International Foundation for Science, consists of:

    • Determining the genetic and antigenic relationships of West African strains of Anaplasma marginale, as compared to prototypical North American strains and current vaccine strains.
    • Defining the impact of vector-borne disease on livestock production in Ghana.
    • Developing vaccines to improve control of livestock disease in Ghana and throughout West Africa

    Dr. Noh’s research efforts are focused at the vector-pathogen interface and the interface between the pathogen and the mammalian host. Her research program involves identifying, and understanding the function of, the bacterial genes required for colonization of the tick vector. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty in the Allen School, Dr. Noh is an adjunct faculty member of the CVM Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

    Dr. Susan Noh



    Global Animal Health Certificate Program News


    We are pleased to congratulate our three newly-minted professional Certificate in Global Animal Health recipients: Victoria Olsen-Mikitowicz, Barbara Panata, and Melissa Steinmetz. All three will be joining private veterinary practices immediately after graduation to hone their clinical veterinary skills before returning to global health interests. Victoria completed two global animal health projects during her 4 years, one in Ghana with Drs. Futse and Palmer entitled “Genetic analysis of Anaplasma marginale strains in Ghana”, and the other in Kenya mentored by Allen School faculty members Drs. Jennifer Zambriski and Thumbi Mwangi entitled “Intestinal parasite interactions with East Coast Fever: immunomodulation and infection control.” Barbara’s project “Canine and feline hookworms impacts on human disease in the Galapagos, Ecuador,” was mentored by Drs. Bill Foreyt and Margaret Davis during her second year summer. Melissa travelled to Tanzania to work with the Serengeti Health Initiative and Dr. Felix Lankester, our faculty member on the ground in Tanzania, on “Determination of rabies vaccination coverage in rural Tanzanian dogs,” also during her second summer. We are very proud of all three new graduates and wish them the very best in their budding careers.

    This summer six newly accepted certificate students will be conducting their major projects around the world. Julia Vanderford (CVM ‘17) and Sarah Eichler (CVM ‘17) will be working with Dr. Thumbi Mwangi on aspects of the PBASS program in Kisumu, Kenya. Trisha Paulos (CVM ‘17) and Cassie Eakins (CVM ’16) will be joining Dr. Felix Lankester to evaluate parasitism in dogs in the rabies program. Kat Reardon (CVM ‘17) will be working in the lab here in Pullman with Allen School faculty member Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño on Nipah virus. Lance Kidder (CVM ‘18) is working also in Pullman in the Zambriski lab helping to understand Cryptosporidium infections in calves, and Kelsey Brown (CVM ‘18) will be travelling to Kibera, a part of Nairobi, Kenya, to study antimicrobial resistance under the direction of Dr. Doug Call. This is the largest group of Certificate students we have had to date!

    From left: Drs. Victoria Olsen-Mikitowicz, Barbara Panata and Melissa Steinmetz.



    Grants Awarded:


    Dr. Guy Palmer was awarded a 5-year renewal of the NIH T32 Training Grant “Infectious Diseases and Immunology Post-doctoral Training Program.” The program, in existence since 1980, annually supports 5 post-doctoral scientists (including DVMs and PhDs) as they pursue advanced training specifically in zoonotic infectious diseases. Dr. Palmer has served as the Program Director since 2003.

    Dr. Thomas Marsh was awarded a 1-year, $57,000 grant from the American Veterinarian Medical Association for his project titled “Economic Assessment of Zoonotic Diseases.”



    Congratulations to faculty, staff and students on recent publications:


    Kamani TM, Kazwala R, Mfinanga S, Haydon D, Keyyu J, Lankester F, Buza J. (2015). One Health: A concept led by Africa, with global benefits.Veterinary Record, 176, 496-497. doi: 10.1136/vr.h2461

    Lankester F, Lugelo, A, Mnyambwa N, Ndabigaye A, Keyyu J, Kazwala R, Grant DM, Relg V, Haig DM, Cleaveland S, Russell GC. (2015). Alcelaphine Herpesvirus-1 (Malignant Catarrhal Fever virus) in wildebeest placenta: Genetic variation of ORF50 and A9.5 alleles. PLoS One, 10(5): e0124121. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124121.

    Lone A, Atci E, Renslow R, Beyenal H, Noh S, Fransson B, Abu-Lail N, Park JJ, Gang DR, Call DR. (2015). Staphylococcus aureus induces hypoxia and cellular damage in porcine dermis explants. Infection and Immunity, 83(6), 2531-2541. doi: 10.1128/IAI.03075-14

    Monreal AI, Liu Q, Tyson K, Bland T, Dalisay DS, Adams EV, Wayman GA, Aguilar HC, Saludes JP. (2015). Branched dimerization of Tat peptides improves permeability to HeLa and hippocampal neuronal cells. Chemical Communications, 51(25), 5463-5466. doi: 10.1039/c5cc00882d.

    Omulo S, Thumbi SM, Njenga MK, Call DR. (2015). A review of 40 years of enteric antimicrobial resistance research in Eastern Africa: what can be done better?Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 4(1). doi: 10.1186/s13756-014-0041-4


    Faculty and Staff News

     Dr. Gretchen E. Kaufman, adjunct faculty and coordinator for the Professional Certificate in Global Animal Health will be leaving her administrative position to pursue her interests with her non-profit organization VIEW, and in particular her work on wildlife health capacity building in Nepal. Dr. Kaufman helped to bring the pathway program to Professional Certificate status and has raised the profile of the program to what it is today, mentoring students and encouraging broad faculty participation. She also helped to expand the curriculum offered by the Allen School, benefiting graduate students and certificate students alike. Dr. Kaufman will continue as an Adjunct Professor in the Allen School.

    Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño received a Carl Storm Travel Award for the Gordon Research Conference on Viruses and Cells, From Molecular Mechanism to Pathogenesis and Prevention, taking place June 21-26 in Girona, Spain.

    Dr. Doug Call presented a paper titled “Maasai households in northern Tanzania harbor a higher prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli compared with Chagga households” at the 4th ASM Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Zoonotic Bacteria and Foodborne Pathogens, May 5-8, 2015, in Washington, DC. Co-authors include Murugan Subbiah, Mark Caudell, Rob Quinlan, Marsha Quinlan, Deo Mshanga, Louise Matthews, and Julius Keyyu.

    Elnyaad  Dr. Wael Abdelmordy Elnyaad, a food-safety microbiologist from Egypt, arrived in Dr. Devendra Shah’s laboratory on 1st April 2015 for five months training on Molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of Salmonella. Dr. Elnyaad’s research training is focused on molecular fingerprinting of the most prevalent poultry-associated Salmonella serotypes isolated from US poultry. Upon completion of training, he plans to return to Egypt to develop a food safety research laboratory and implement molecular tools to track food-borne pathogens.

    WSU News recently featured Dr. Thumbi Mwangi and his Allen School and other colleagues in an article titled Humans, livestock in Kenya linked in sickness and in health. The article describes the work leading to the team’s recent publication in PLoS One, “Linking human health and livestock health: a ‘one-health’ platform for integrated analysis of human health, livestock health, and economic welfare in livestock dependent communities,” and provides a link to the journal publication.

    OtherThe journal Nature recently published an article by Linda Nordling describing a landmark discrimination case won by African researchers seeking full recognition of their contributions to research conducted in partnership with foreign colleagues. Researchers employed by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) charged that they did not receive appropriate credit for their work, damaging their career advancement, while their European colleagues in the UK-Kenya medical research partnership quickly moved up the academic career ladder. See this and related articles at:Nordling L. (2015). Research: Africa’s fight for equality. Nature, 521(7550), 24-25.

    The May/June issue of the NIH Fogarty International Center’s “Global Health Matters” newsletter features an article promoting research careers for veterinarians, with a photo of WSU’s Tessa LeCuyer. Dr. LeCuyer was a Fulbright-Fogarty fellow and conducted research in Botswana.


    Student and Fellow News

    The following CVM students have been awarded summer research fellowships for projects with Allen School associated faculty members:

    Joni Anderson: “Using Phenotype Microarray Technology to Analyze Metabolic Changes Induced in THPK1 Macrophage-like Cells Infected by Coxiella burnetii.” Mentor: Dr. Anders Omsland

    Kelsey Brown: “The Role of Animal Products Containing Antibiotic Residues on Antibiotic-Resistant Enteric Bacteria of Consumers.” Mentor: Dr. Doug Call

    Patricia Paulos: “Determining a Baseline Parasitic Burden in Tanzanian Village Dogs and the Effects on Herd Immunity.”  Mentor: Dr. Felix Lankester

    Carson Sakamoto: “Molecular characterization of Salmonella Kentucky isolates from humans and poultry.” Mentor: Dr. Devendra Shah
    Carson Sakamoto, DVM '17

    Kim Chiok, PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Devendra Shah, was selected as TOP candidate in Illumina’s iAspire program. Kim is among 50 students from across the country selected for the 12-week summer internship at Illumina.

    Telmo Graça, PhD student in the lab of Dr. Guy Palmer, was presented the President’s Award for Leadership at the Leadership and Engagement Awards of Distinction (LEAD) program, April 23rd, 2015.

    Jinxin Liu, PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Doug Call, won an Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (AAC) award for his poster “Soil-borne reservoirs of antibiotic resistant bacteria are established following therapeutic treatment of dairy calves,” presented at the 4th ASM Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Zoonotic Bacteria and Foodborne Pathogens, held May 5-8 in Washington, DC. Jinxin’s co-authors were Zhe Zhao, Lisa Orfe, Murugan Subbiah, and Doug Call.

    Shao Lu advanced to PhD Candidacy with his preliminary exam presentation “Microcin MccPDI immunity, post-translational modification and inhibition of susceptible Escherichia coli.” Shao’s faculty mentor is Dr. Doug Call; other members of the committee include Drs. Tom Besser, Kelly Brayton and Troy Bankhead.


    Sylvia Omulo advanced to PhD Candidacy with her preliminary exam presentation “Sanitation and its Relationship with Antimicrobial-Resistant Escherichia coli in an Urban Slum in Nairobi, Kenya.” Sylvia’s faculty mentor is Dr. Doug Call; other members of the committee include Drs. Terry McElwainM. K. NjengaMargaret Davis, and Jennifer Zambriski

    Dr. Robert Ndung’u
    , graduate student of Dr. Thumbi Mwangi, was awarded a $230,000 Wellcome Trust Masters Fellowship for his project "Deworming prior to vaccination: Are there immunological benefits of deworming calves before vaccinating them against East Coast Fever (ECF) using Infection Treatment Method (ITM)?" 

    Allison Eavey James, DVM, a PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Troy Bankhead, presented a poster titled “Animal Source Foods to Improve Nutritional Health in the Urban Informal Settlements: Identifying Barriers and Addressing Knowledge Gaps” at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference in Boston MA, March 27, 2015. Dr. Guy Palmer served as Allison’s mentor for this project.

    The College of Veterinary Medicine Postdoctoral Association held its 2nd Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium April 15th, with support from Fisher Scientific and Life Technologies. Allen School postdocs were selected to present the following 15 minute talks:

    • Dr. Shannon Mitchell: “Capturing Excreted Antibiotics Using Biochar.”
    • Dr. Murugan Subbiah: “Maasai households in northern Tanzania harbor a higher prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli compared with Chagga households.”
    • Dr. Cheryl Miller: “Elucidation of Effector Protein Function Critical for Brucella Trafficking and Growth within Host Cells.” 

    Drs. Mitchell and Subbiah are in the lab of Dr. Doug Call and Dr. Miller is in the lab or Dr. Jean Celli

    This yearly event promotes interaction and collaboration among SMB, Allen School, IPN, VMP, VCS and the rest of WSU. Cheryl Miller, the current president of the association, was pleased with the turnout and believes this event supports the professional training and career development of postdoctoral scholars by offering an opportunity to improve scientific communication skills. Dr. Celli serves as the Association’s advisor.


    Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

    PO Box 647090, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-7090, 509-335-2489, Contact Us