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A Tanzanian Household with livestock.
Photo by Doug Call

As another academic year winds down, Allen School affiliated students and post-docs are gearing up for summer research activities, with several using the opportunity to pursue their interests and growing expertise to work on international infectious disease control efforts. Students working with Drs. Jennifer Zambriski, Thumbi Mwangi, Gretchen Kaufman and Doug Call will be working on projects in Africa and Indonesia to improve understanding of disease transmission and to integrate animal health and human health research and related projects in a One Health approach.

For two students, this is also an opportunity to visit home. Deogratius Mshanga and Sylvia Omulo, from Tanzania and Kenya, respectively, are both students in the lab of Dr. Doug Call. Deogratius will be working in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), in Arusha, Tanzania, to identify practices and risk factors associated with antimicrobial resistant E. coli in cattle, which may also pose health risks to people. Data from this project will contribute to his doctoral thesis. While in Arusha, Deogratius will also assist Allen School faculty member Dr. Felix Lankester in implementation of rabies control activities.

Sylvia will also be conducting research on antimicrobial resistance, testing E. coli collected from soil samples in two field sites in Kenya (Kibera and Lwak) for antibiotic resistance. Her data will contribute to her thesis and provide the basis of upcoming grant applications. Sylvia also prepared a review paper on antibiotic resistance research in Eastern Africa as an invited talk at the Regional Conference on Zoonotic Diseases in Eastern Africa, scheduled for May 27-29 in Nairobi.

Read more . . .

Research News

Grants awarded:

Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreno was awarded a five-year, $1,856,070 NIH R01 grant for a project entitled "Mechanisms of Nipah virus fusion and entry."

Dr. Jean Celli was awarded a two-year, $377,500 NIH R21 grant for a project entitled "Brucella mechanisms of autophagy-mediated egress."

Dr. Troy Bankhead received a NIH R01 grant award of $1,270,000 for a project entitled "Study of immune avoidance during the enzootic cycle of the Lyme disease pathogen."

Allen School faculty members Dr. Jon Yoder and Felix Lankester will collaborate on a project funded by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, titled "Social, Economic and Environmental Drivers of Zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ)." The project is led by Dr. Sarah Cleaveland of the University of Glasgow.

Recent publications:

Suthar, N., Roy, S., Call, D.R., Besser, T.E. and Davis, M.A. An individual-based model of transmission of resistant bacteria in a veterinary teaching hospital. PLOS One. In press.

Pendell, D. L., Lusk, J.L., Marsh, T. L., Coble K. H., and Szmania, S. C. Economic Assessment of Zoonotic Diseases: An Illustrative Study of Rift Valley Fever in the United States. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. In press.

Perevodchikov, E.V., Tozer, P.R., and Marsh, T.L. Welfare Impacts of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in the Canadian Cattle Sector. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. In press.


Upcoming Events

The Allen School and College of Veterinary Medicine are sponsors of the 2014 Zoobiquity conference. The event will take place Saturday, November 1st, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle and at the Woodland Park Zoo. The theme this year is Environment and Health, with a focus on overlapping human and animal health issues. The afternoon includes walking rounds at the zoo with presentations at various exhibits including seasonal affective disorder and geriatrics (gorillas), obesity (bears), BRCA gene breast cancer (jaguars), zoonotic TB and uterine leiomyoma (elephants), climate change and other interesting shared problems. Featured speakers will include WSU faculty members. For information on previous conferences and 2014 program and registration information, see

Sponsored by:
University of Washington School of Medicine
University of Washington School of Public Health
Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University
College of Veterinary Medicine at
Washington State University
The Woodland Park Zoo

Program and registration information will be available soon

Student and Fellow News

Seth Nydam successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled “Transcriptome analysis of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Type III secretion system 1 induction conditions.” Seth’s PhD advisor was Dr. Doug Call.

Dierdre Ducken successfully defended her MS thesis entitled "Prioritizing and testing sub-dominant A marginale antigens for protective capacity." Dierdre's advisor was Dr. Susan Noh.

Jennifer Santos successfully defended her MS thesis entitled "A mechanism for inter-epizootic plague persistence." Jennifer's advisor was Dr. Viveka Vadyvaloo.

Jackie Stone, graduate student in the lab of Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño, successfully passed her PhD qualifying exam. Her project is entitled “Viral/cell membrane fusion modulation by protein and/or carbohydrate moieties in NiV glycoproteins.”

School of Molecular Biosciences graduate student Erin Smith was awarded a 2014-2015 CMB training grant. Erin is working in the lab of Dr. Jean Celli.

George Wudiri received the Ron and Sheila Pera Scholarship Resident Award, which is given to graduate students from the western US who intend to continue their careers in their home state. It was awarded at the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Awards Dessert on April 18th. George's advisor is Dr. Anthony Nicola.

Claire Jackson, CVM Class of 2017, has been awarded Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Research Program funding to support her project entitled “Examination of the relationship between virulence factor genes and antibiotic resistance in canine Escherichia coli.” She will carry out her research this summer in the SGAH lab of Dr. Margaret Davis.

Shao Lu, graduate student of Dr. Doug Call, was awarded the first place for poster presentation at the NIH biotechnology training program symposium in April. The title of his poster was “A genome-wide functional assay confirms that OmpF is the critical outer membrane protein that is required for susceptibility to E. coli microcin MccPDI.” The first place award prize is $500.

First Place in this year’s WSU Global Case Competition went to team “Wazzu Worldwide,” including Craigen Nes (Team Captain), a PhD student in the Immunology and Infectious Diseases Program, Afshin Khan, PhD student in Environmental Sciences, Jordan Rehwaldt, Steven Mondasenior and Abdul Mohamed, seniors in Bioengineering, and Brittany Domine, a junior in Human Resource Management. The annual competition brings together 20 multidisciplinary teams of 5-6 graduate and undergraduate students from all WSU campuses to develop solutions to issues currently impacting a global community. This year, teams developed strategies for preventing arsenic contamination in Bangladesh. Teams compete for a chance to win a trip and or/prize money.

 Bryce Henderson, an undergraduate Biochemistry major in the lab of Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño, won first place (Crimson award) in the 2014 WSU SURCA poster competition. He presented in the category "fields of the biological sciences such as evolutionary biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics, and molecular plant sciences." There were thirty two presenters in this competitive category. 


Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Thomas Besser received the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts. The award was presented in March. Dr. Besser was recognized for his seminal contributions in microbiology, epidemiology and the ecology of enteric bacteria.

Dr. Jon Yoder, Professor in the School of Economic Sciences and Allen School Adjunct Professor, has been appointed Director of the State of Washington Water Research Center.

Dr. Jean Celli chaired and presented at the Symposium "Intracellular Immunity to Intracellular bacteria: Who’s the winner?" at the ASM General meeting, Boston, May 17-20, 2014. Dr. Celli is also giving an invited talk at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, UC Davis School of Medicine, entitled: "Brucella modulation of the host secretory pathway" on May 29th, 2014.

Dr. Thomas Besser presented an invited seminar at the ASM General meeting, Boston (May 17-20, 2014) entitled, "Antibiotic resistant pathogens from farm to fork: strategies for control."

Dr. Leigh Knodler is giving a seminar May 30th at the UC Davis Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, entitled "The life of Salmonella in the cytosol: how, when and why?"

Dr. Doug Call gave an invited seminar at the University of Washington’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, April 3, 2014. Title: "Antimicrobial resistance: moving beyond the prudent use paradigm."

Dr. Margaret Davis’s lab will be hosting Dr. Mohammad Obaidat, a visiting professor from the Jordanian University of Science and Technology. Dr. Obaidat is a food safety microbiologist who collaborated with Dr. Davis and Dr. Mustaq Memon during their visit to Jordan in the spring of 2013. Dr. Obaidat will give a seminar while here and is eager to enhance his laboratory’s molecular epidemiology capabilities.

This summer Dr. Doug Call’s lab is hosting Dr. Jane Lwoyero, a visiting scientist from the Veterinary Health Department in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Lwoyero successfully competed for a prestigious USDA Borlaug Fellowship for her work in the Call lab. Her project will focus on the potential in situ selective effects of antibiotic residues in poultry products. This is a particularly important question given the high probability that poultry products sold at informal markets in places like Nairobi will be contaminated with antibiotic residues. Drs. Lwoyero and Call are interested in determining if such residues can lead to selective enrichment of populations of antibiotic resistant bacteria on the surface of poultry products. If so, this could represent an important public health problem aside from the hazards that the residues themselves present.


Global Animal Health Pathway News


Congratulations to our second class of Global Animal Health Certificate students! Four students graduated from WSU this May with their DVM degree and a Professional Certificate in Global Animal Health. Aja Senestraro, who came to the veterinary program with an undergraduate double major in biology and anthropology, completed a global health project working with Allen School faculty members Jon Yoder and Rob Quinlan looking at beliefs and practices regarding livestock health and husbandry among pastoralists in Ethiopia. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Bill Sischo. Tomasina Lucia brought a strong undergraduate background in international development to veterinary school, and completed a project under the mentorship of Dr. Guy Palmer on the effects of animal protein allocation on early childhood health in Western Kenya. This project contributes directly to Allen School projects with the Kenya Medical Research Institute/CDC. Shawna Wedde, with strong family ties to Alaska, pursued a research project on the North Slope in Barrow, Alaska to determine the effects of rabies control, parasite prevention and animal population control on the spread of zoonotic diseases to people within the communities and villages of that region. Her mentor was Dr. John Gay. Last but not least, Brittany Beavis worked with Dr. Tom Besser to develop a new method for identifying extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli isolates which will be applied to samples from Nigeria. She also completed her MPH at the University of Minnesota at the same time and will be going into the U.S. Army shortly after graduation.

Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

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