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NEWSLETTER | July/August2016

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Program for Enhancing the Health and Productivity of Livestock (PEHPL), Allen School graduate student Ms. Ashley Railey recently completed three months of fieldwork in Tanzania collecting preliminary data as part of her doctoral research. Ashley’s project assessing farmers’ willingness to pay for vaccinations against and diagnostic testing for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in cattle, is part of a cohort of PEHPL projects being conducted by 16 students from five different institutions, including WSU, Penn State, University of Glasgow, Scotland Rural College, and the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NMAIST) in Arusha, Tanzania. Ashley, along with Ms. Zoe Campbell, the other cohort member from the Allen School, first spent six months at NMAIST taking classes with their PEPHL colleagues from East Africa. The two then began their fieldwork, with Ashley spending April to June in northern Tanzania conducting surveys on basic household demographics, livestock movements, and household willingness to pay for disease control methods. While there she also taught survey participants about the complexity of the disease through visual aids and discussions.

Ashley Railey, center, with advisor Dr. Tom Marsh (standing left) and her Serengeti team of survey assistants.
Ashley Railey, center, with advisor Dr. Tom Marsh (standing left) and her Serengeti team of survey assistants.

The survey of smallholder households is the first step in Ashley’s research to identify consequences of risk-based management for the control of FMD in cattle in Tanzania. Her research will integrate data on livestock movements and spatial distributions of FMD in the region, in addition to collecting data on attitudes toward risk management approaches along the supply chain, and running computer-based models of the combined data to determine optimal control conditions. She will now spend the 2016-2017 academic year at WSU analyzing her preliminary data and taking classes to fulfill the requirements of her Interdisciplinary Doctoral Degree Program, including courses in Economics, Sociology, and Animal Health. After completing her preliminary exams in spring 2017, she will return to Tanzania to continue fieldwork, including collaborating with fellow PEHPL cohort members from NMAIST and the University of Glasgow to better understand cattle movements in the region, and collect focus group data on attitudes toward risk management practices.

A team member conducting a household survey in Loliondo, Tanzania, entering data on a tablet device as children look on.
A team member conducting a household survey in Loliondo, Tanzania, entering data on a tablet device as children look on.

Ashley’s doctoral committee chair, Dr. Thomas L. Marsh, visited her during her time in the field, along with Allen School faculty member Dr. Felix Lankester, based in Kenya. Other doctoral committee members include, from WSU, Dr. Guy Palmer (Animal Health), Dr. Tim Baszler (Animal Health), and Dr. Tom Rotolo (Sociology), as well as Dr. Gabriel Shirima (Epidemiology), from NMAIST, and Dr. Tiziana Lembo (Epidemiology), from the University of Glasgow.


Research News



Grants Awarded:

Drs. Douglas Call, Eric Lofgren, Guy Palmer and Shira Broschat are collaborators on the new Community Health Analytics Initiative (CHAI), funded by the WSU Office of Research Grand Challenges grant program. The effort is led by Dr. Behrooz Shirazi, Huie Rogers Chair Professor and Director of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and involves the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The project aims to establish a large-scale interdisciplinary program in computational- and analytics-based healthcare and medical sciences research at WSU. With permanent university funds and matching college funds, this $5 million investment includes hiring five new faculty members (two with their primary home in the Allen School).

Dr. Margaret Davis received funding from the Morris Animal Foundation for her project titled “Evaluation of genotyping methods for Staphylococcus pseudintermedius at local, regional and global scales.” $157,561 for a two year period, 09/15/16 - 09/14/18.

Dr. Jean Celli was awarded a College of Veterinary Medicine intramural grant for his project “Modulation of ER-associated degradation by Brucella abortus.”  $20,000; 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2017

Dr. Leigh Knodler received a CVM intramural grant for her project titled “Human enteroids as a model to study the intestinal epithelial inflammasome. $20,000; 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2017

Dr. Felix Lankester was awarded a CVM intramural grant for his project “Assessment of incentive payments for increasing participation in mass dog rabies vaccination in Tanzania. $19,865; 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2017

Dr. Eric Lofgren received a CVM intramural award for the project “Modeling Emerging Infections in Frontline Veterinary Care Settings. $9,949; 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2017

Dr. Anthony Nicola was awarded a two-year $173,185 Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research award.  This supplement will support a graduate student to work on Dr. Anthony’s NIH R01 grant entitled "Low pH-mediated HSV fusion and entry," amounting to a five-year total of $2.1 million for the grant. 


Congratulations to faculty, staff and students on recent publications:

Aguilar HC, Henderson BA, Zamora JL, Johnston GP. 2016. Paramyxovirus glycoproteins and the membrane fusion processCurrent Clinical Microbiology Reports 3(3):142-154.doi:10.1007/s40588-016-0040-8

Catanese HN, Brayton KA, Gebremedhin AH. 2016. RepeatAnalyzer: A Tool for Analysing and Managing Short-Sequence Repeat DataBMC Genomics 17(1):422. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2686-2. (This article received news links: see email)

D'Angeli MA, Baker JB, Call DR, Davis MA, Kauber KJ, Malhotra U, Matsuura GT, Moore DA, Porter C, Pottinger P, Stockwell V, Wagner C, Wohrle R, Yoder J, Yoke LH, Rabinowitz P. 2016. Antimicrobial stewardship through a one health lens: observations from Washington State. International Journal of Health Governance 21(3).

Dicks KV, Lofgren E, Lewis SS, Moehring RW, Sexton DJ, Anderson DJ. 2016. A multicenter pragmatic interrupted time series analysis of chlorhexidine gluconate bathing in community hospital intensive care units. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 37(7):791-797. doi:

Lockwood, S., K. A. Brayton, and S. L. Broschat. 2016. Comparative Genomics Reveals Multiple Pathways to Mutualism for Tick-borne PathogensBMC Genomics 17: 481.  doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2744-9

Noh S, Dark MJ, Reif KE, Ueti MW, Kappmeyer LM, Scoles GA, Palmer GH, Brayton KA. 2016. Superinfection exclusion of the ruminant pathogen Anaplasma marginale in the tick vector is dependent on time between exposures to the strainsApplied and Environmental Microbiology. 82(16): 3217-3224. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00190-16

Nicola AV. 2016. Herpesvirus entry into host cells mediated by endosomal low pHTraffic. Apr 29. doi: 10.1111/tra.12408.

Student and Fellow News

Jinxin Liu, student of Dr. Douglas Call, successfully defended his doctoral thesis titled “The role of excreted antibiotics in the establishment of persistent on-farm reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.” Other members of his thesis committee included Drs. Thomas Besser, Margaret Davis, and Devendra Shah.

Telmo Graca, student of Dr. Guy Palmer, successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Structural characterization of the anaplasma marginale antigenically variant MSP2 protein."  His dissertation committee also included Drs. Kelly Brayton, Susan Noh, and Hector Aguilar-Carreño.  Dr. Graca also presented his work June 14th at the annual meeting of the American Society for Rickettsiology, held at Big Sky Resort, Montana.

Dr. Javier Benavides Montano, student of Dr. Viveka Vadyvaloo, has advanced to PhD candidacy, completing his preliminary exam entitled “Understanding the inter-epizootic cycle of plague: The role of free-living amoeba (FLA) as an environmental reservoir for plague.”

Amelia Silva, a PhD student, has recently joined Dr. Vadyvaloo’s lab.


US National Academy of Science Fellow Training at the WSU-Kenya Program

Dr. Joveria Farooqi

Dr. Kariuki Njenga, Allen School Research Professor based in Nairobi, is hosting two US National Academy of Science fellows, Dr. Joveria Farooqi (MD) and Dr. Imran Arshad (DVM). The fellows, both from Pakistan, were selected by NAS for the 5-month training opportunity through a competitive process, and identified the WSU-Kenya One Health research program as ideal for their training needs. Dr. Farooqi, from Aga Khan University, Karachi, started her training in Kenya on July 18, 2016. Dr. Arshad from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, will is starting on August 8, 2016.

Dr. Imran Arshad

Dr. Farooqi’s research interest is in surveillance of of arboviral diseases at the human-animal interface in Southern Pakistan, including West Nile, Japanese Encephalitis, Dengue and Chikungunya. During the training, she will work at the PBASS and CDC-GHSA projects to learn how to design linked human-animal field studies, and electronic data collection and analysis. Dr. Arshad’s research is on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). He will work at the laboratory of Dr. Sam Kariuki of Kenya Medical Research Institute’s laboratory, a close collaborator with Dr. Doug Call’s laboratory on AMR, to learn how to conduct field studies and laboratory analysis of AMR Salmonella spp and E. coli.

Faculty and Staff News

After 12 years at the helm as the Allen School’s Research Supervisor, Lisa Orfe has left WSU for a position in the private sector. During her tenure at the Allen School, Ms. Orfe managed the lab of Dr. Douglas Call, working with and training PhD students, DVM students, undergraduates, and postdoctoral fellows. She also played a significant role in managing shared resources at the Allen Center and was responsible for oversight of all research instrumentation. Her contributions to Dr. Call’s research earned her co-authorship on numerous peer-reviewed publications.

Janelle Sagawa has been hired as a scientific assistant in the lab of Dr. Viveka Vadyvaloo.

Dr. Kelly Brayton was elected as the Vice President of the American Society for Rickettsiology.

Dr. Brayton gave a Plenary Lecture entitled “In depth analysis of Anaplasma marginale: what we have learned from deep sequencing,” at the 28th American Society for Rickettsiology Conference in Big Sky, Montana.  June 14, 2016.

Agatha Kolo, A PhD student from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, visited the Brayton lab June 9-July 20, 2016 for training in bioinformatics. Dr. Brayton’s collaborations with South African colleagues also included recent grant reviews for the National Research Foundation of South Africa, Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers.

Anthony Nicola chaired a scientific session "Herpesviruses: Early Events and Egress" at the 35th Annual American Society for Virology meeting held in Blacksburg, VA, June 18-22, 2016.

Dr. Nicola has been re-appointed as associate editor of Virology Journal for a three year term.  Virology Journal is published by BioMed Central.

Dr. Nicola served as a member of NIAID study section ZAI1-KP-M-M1. This was a special emphasis panel to review grant applications submitted to NIH in response to PA-13-347 NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13).


Dr. Memon

Dr. Memon is presented with Cougar statue by Dr. Bryan Slinker, Dean, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine during his retirement party on July 11, 2016.  See related item in the May-June 2016 Allen School Update.

Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

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