Gastrointestinal

Researchers

David R. Brown, PhD
Research Interest:
 Neuroregulation of host-pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces. 
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James E. Collins, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVP
Research Interest: Anatomic pathology as it relates to infectious diseases, agriculture, public health and biomedical research.


Maxim C. Cheeran, DVM, PhD
Neuroimmune response to brain infections Neuroimmune responses are both essential for protection and induce brain damage. Our lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms that mediate these effects in an effort to develop interventions that shift the balance from damage to repair, particularly addressing chronic brain disease ensuing infections. Neural Stem cell response to neuroinflammation Neural stem cells (NSCs) are undifferentiated cells in the brain that is believed to be a cellular source for new neuron formation. Our lab investigates the mechanisms by which NSCs interact with the inflammatory milieu generated during viral encephalitis. Pathogenesis of zoonotic infections We study porcine T cell responses to swine influenza viruses to understand its impact on viral fitness and pathogenesis.
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 Connie Gehbart, PhD

Research in my laboratory addresses pathogenic bacteria of veterinary importance, specifically the fastidious, novel, or newly emerging. My research has focused on the obligately intracellular bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis and the novel porcine pathogen Brachyspira hampsonii. In particular, my laboratory was instrumental in identifying these new pathogenic species and continues to be active in studying all facets of these exceptional bacteria. Current research seeks to understand how L. intracellularis causes proliferation of enterocytes, by exploring processes such as interference with apoptosis, mechanism(s) of intracellular survival, alteration of normal cellular differentiation, and effect(s) on the enterocytes’ normal cell cycles.
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Tim Johnson, PhD
My research and outreach program is focused on the genetic mechanisms enabling the spread of antibiotic resistance in Enterobacteriaceae in both human and animal populations. My work aims to identify antibiotic alternatives that manipulate the animal microbiome allowing for enhanced growth and reduced disease.
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 K.V. Nagaraja, PhD
Dr. Nagaraja's laboratory performs studies involving food safety, Salmonellosis, and bacterial and viral diseases of poultry. Current research focuses on Pathogenesis of clostridial dermatitis in turkeys, the development of new vaccines, diagnostic tools for avian diseases and studies related to host parasite relationships. Also, studies in his laboratory on epidemiology of avian pneumovirus (APV) infection in turkeys have identified wild birds as one of the sources of APV to domestic turkeys. Many of the findings from his laboratory have been put into practice in the poultry industry.

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Randall Singer, DVM, PhD
Research in my lab seeks to understand the factors that influence the emergence, evolution, spread, and persistence of microbes within different ecosystems. We use this information to design strategies for reducing the negative impacts that these pathogens have on human and animal health. These studies emphasize epidemiologic methods, specifically, the development and validation include:

Antibiotic Use and Resistance: For almost 20 years I have been studying antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. These studies have included analyses of spatial distributions of resistant microbes and resistance genes, mathematical models of resistance development and spread, quantitative risk assessments related to the use of specific antibiotics and the subsequent augmentation of resistance, molecular analyses of resistance genes and their spread, and public health analyses estimating the excess burden of illness caused by these resistant microbes.

Food Safety: I actively investigate the ecology of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter in agricultural environments. The goal of these projects is to develop interventions on the farm and in the processing plant that reduce the risk to humans of being exposed to these pathogens.

Ecology of Infectious Disease: In addition to studying the ecological factors affecting antimicrobial resistant pathogens and foodborne pathogens, I have studied other bacterial and viral pathogens. These studies have focused on the spread of these pathogens at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment and on the assessment of interventions for minimizing the risk of transmission among these populations.

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