Faculty Profile

Guy Palmer

Guy Palmer

Regents Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases,
Creighton Endowed Chair, Senior Director of Global Health


  • Paul G. Allen School for Global Health
  • Professor, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology
  • Member, Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (University of Washington)

Affiliated Organizations

  • Chairman, WSU Global Health - Kenya
  • President, Global Animal Health -Tanzania

Phone: 509-335-6033


Guy Palmer holds the Creighton Endowed Chair in Global Health at Washington State University (WSU) where he is Regents Professor of Pathology & Infectious Diseases. The founding director of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, he currently is WSU’s Senior Director of Global Health and serves as Chair of WSU Global Health-Kenya and President of Global Animal Health-Tanzania. He is Director of Rabies Free Africa, committed to ending human deaths due to rabies.

Dr. Palmer was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006, is a Medical Sciences Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a founding member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, where he served as President from 2012-13. He holds appointments at the University of Nairobi, the University of Washington, the Nelson Mandela Institute, the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.


  • NIH Post-doctoral Fellow in Vaccine Immunology, 1985
  • PhD, Infectious Diseases, Washington State University, 1984
  • DVM, Kansas State University, 1980
  • BS in Biology, Kansas State University, 1977


  • Board certified, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Diplomat ACVP

Research Interest

  • Global & public health
  • Emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases
  • Antimicrobial resistance



Professional Service

  • Service to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine: Chair, Long-term Health and Economic Effects of Antimicrobial Resistance in the United States (2020-2021); Member, Council of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (2019-present); Vice-Chair (2012-13) and Chair (2014-2015), National Academy of Medicine Membership Committee-10; Member, Board on Global Health (2012-2018); Chair, Section on Microbiology and Global Health (2014-2016); Chair, Assessment of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Management Program (2011-2013); Member, Committee on Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Diseases (2010).
  • Service to the Washington State Academy of Science: Founding Member (2006); Board of Directors (2006-2014); President (2012-2013); Chair, Study on Impact of I-522 (2013); Member, COVID-19 Steering Committee (2020-2021).
  • Current External Advisory Positions: Executive Roundtable, Washington Global Health Alliance (2012-present); External Advisory Board for the University of Washington Department of Global Health (2008-present); External Advisory Board for the NIH IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (2008-present); External Advisory Board, Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University (2011-present); International Scientific Advisory Board for the Southern Africa Centre for Infectious Diseases Surveillance (2013-present); International Scientific Advisory Board for the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (2013-present); Advisory Board for the US Global Leadership Coalition (2016-present); Advisory Board for USAID Feed the Future Program-Kenya (2020-present).
  • Extramural Program Review: NIH Board of Scientific Councilors (ad hoc 2018); External Advisory Review Board for CDC Bacterial Pathogens Branch (2009); NIH Host Interaction with Bacterial Pathogens Study Section (Chair, 2007-2009; Permanent Member, 2004-2009); NIH Targeted Prevention for Tick-borne Diseases (Chair, 2020); NIH College of Scientific Review (2010-2012); External Advisory Board of the NIH-NIAID Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (2007-2012); NIH IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (2008-present; Chair 2010-2016); NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (2009-2019; Chair 2013-2019); NIH-NIAID Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Review Committee (2009); NIH Clinical and Pediatric Fellowships (2005, 2006); NIH Tropical Medicine and Parasitology (Member 1999; Chair 2202-2003); NIH-NIAID Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (2003); USDA National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, Mechanisms of Animal Disease (Member 1991-1993; Chair, 1992-93); Member, Research Advisory Committee for the Grayson Foundation (1998-2000).

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Lifetime Service, Washington State University, 2021
  • Honorary Diplomate, American Veterinary Epidemiology Society, 2020
  • American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Excellence in Research Award, 2019
  • Honorary Doctorate (Ph.D.), Kansas State University, 2016
  • IBM Visiting Professorship at Colby College, 2014
  • Eminent Faculty Award, Washington State University, 2013
  • George C. Poppensiek Professorship at Cornell University, 2012
  • Alumni Fellow, Kansas State University, 2011
  • Doctoris honoris causa, Universität Bern, 2011
  • Class of 1964 Endowed Lectureship at Oklahoma State University, 2011
  • Distinguished Alumnus, Kansas State University, 2009
  • Medical Sciences Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008
  • NIH Distinguished Scientist Lecturer, 2008
  • Sahlin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, 2008
  • Distinguished Lecturer, Science in Medicine, University of Washington, 2007
  • Schalm Distinguished Lecturer at the University of California, 2007
  • Member, National Academy of Medicine, 2006
  • Merck Award for Creativity, 1995


General Research / Expertise

In my role as Senior Director of Global Health, I direct multidisciplinary research programs on public health in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America.  These programs address not only the direct effects of infectious disease on human health but also the broader impacts on food and economic security, maternal and child health, and education.

Research Contributions

A prime example of research impact is our study among Maasai households in Kenya, in collaboration with the WSU School of Economic Sciences, that demonstrated that adoption of vaccination against an endemic livestock disease enhanced income with increased expenditures on food and health care and, most notably, on increased opportunities for girls to attend secondary school.  This illustrates the ability of “out of the box” thinking to meet broad societal goals, such as education and food security, which extend well beyond disease control alone.

Research Details

Our comprehensive program is centered on endemic challenges to health and well-being of vulnerable communities, primarily in east and west Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia.  The studies, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CDC, DTRA, NSF, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust, address a range of health challenges from rabies elimination through mass dog vaccination to improving maternal and childhood nutrition through enhanced milk and egg production and consumption, identifying determinants and consequences of vaccine uptake decisions, and identifying drivers of antimicrobial resistance at the community level with the goal of local mitigation with global benefit.