Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance - Medical illustration of Campylobacter. Image Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Antimicrobial Resistance

Several research teams of the Allen School focus on antimicrobial resistance and the emerging issues that come from the spread of resistant zoonotic diseases. Work spans the genetic study of resistant E. coli to wider epidemiological studies of resistant food-borne pathogens and to the development of alternatives to antibiotic treatments for disease. If you are interested in learning more about Allen School antimicrobial resistance initiatives, visit that page when you’re done here.

Antimicrobial Resistance Initiatives

Research emphases and related faculty are discussed below. You may also be interested in Allen School work with zoonotic disease, epidemiology, and socio-economic research.

Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica

Researcher: Dr. Douglas Call
Dr. Call’s team examines the mechanisms that lead to the emergence, amplification, persistence, and dissemination of antibiotic resistance in food animal production systems. Following that work, they have gone on to develop vaccine, microcin, and probiotic tools to combat zoonotic pathogens independent of antibiotics. Some of this research depends on the development of algorithms to rapidly genotype and fingerprint bacteria using next-generation sequencing.
Dr. Douglas Call Profile

Alternatives to Antibiotics

Researcher: Dr. Tom Kawula
Dr. Kawula’s group is developing small molecule treatments that control specific bacterial infections via mechanism that are fundamentally different from traditional antimicrobial (antibiotic) agents.  These alternative treatments work by enhancing or complementing natural host immune mechanism, or by altering host processes that inadvertently support pathogen replication and survival.
Dr. Tom Kawula Profile

Infectious Disease Surveillance

Researcher: Dr. Timothy Baszler
Dr. Baszler’s research projects study the advancement and delivery of tools for laboratory diagnosticians and regulatory disease officials. This work focuses on global infectious disease surveillance and diagnostic capacity building in developing countries. His team recognizes that effective animal health services are essential in the development of systems that can detect emerging resistant pathogens as well as endemic pathogens of importance to both human and animal health.
Dr. Timothy Baszler Profile
Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (WADDL)

Drivers of antimicrobial resistance

Researcher: Dr Mahammad Islam
Dr. Islam’s team tries to understand the potential drivers of antimicrobial resistance in human, animal and environmental niches and the transmission dynamics of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the ecosystem using molecular epidemiological tools including whole genome sequencing. This work contributes to identifying effective intervention strategies that can be applied to reduce the emergence, burden and transmission of antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Mahammad Islam Profile

Graduate Spotlight

PhD candidate Shao Lu in Allen School labs.

Shao Lu is a graduate student in the IID program. Finishing in 2018, he has been researching regulation, inhibition, and self-immunity of a small antimicrobial peptide known as microcin PDI. When reflecting on his WSU experience, Shao said, “My first time visiting WSU, I noticed quickly the diversity of the graduate student body - people from various parts of the world with different cultures and scientific expertise working together. In addition, a diverse and dedicated group of faculty and staff in the program are passionate about mentoring and supporting the students to ensure their success."
Shao Lu Full Interview
Allen School Research
Graduate Training
Graduate Life in Pullman

Faculty Working in this Research Area

Timothy Baszler

Timothy Baszler

Executive Director (WADDL)
Associate Director and Professor (Allen School)

Douglas Call

Douglas Call

Regents Professor of Molecular Epidemiology.
Associate Director for Research and Graduate Education, Allen School.

Antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, alternatives, and epidemiology with people and animals

Tom Kawula

Tom Kawula

Director Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health; Professor

Pathogenesis mechanisms and host immunity to intracellular bacterial pathogens