- Research Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA-ARS-National Animal Disease Center, Affiliate Associate Professor
Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine
I am a Research Veterinary Medical Officer at the USDA-ARS National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa, assigned to the project to study the virulence properties of swine viral pathogens and develop intervention strategies against them. I have 20 years of experience in swine production and animal health research. The primary focus of my laboratory is influenza A virus (IAV) in swine. IAV represents a unique agent that is pathogen to pigs, humans, and numerous other species, and the NADC studies focus on IAV in the natural swine host. Three areas of IAV research involve investigating virulence properties, characterizing currently circulating and emerging IAV in swine, and developing novel vaccine approaches. Recent efforts focused on the 2009 pandemic H1N1, H3N2 variants in humans, swine H3N2 viruses, and the interplay between human seasonal and swine adapted IAV between the two host species. As an RNA virus with an immense capacity to undergo genetic change, monitoring genetic evolution and correlating the genetic changes with properties of virus and virus-host interaction is a critical area of research for IAV. This is the subject area that the Iowa State University BCB program has obvious potential for interaction between faculty and students and NADC scientists.
As a USDA-ARS federal employee, my role in the BCB program for graduate student training can include co-major advisor, POS committee members, and rotation mentor. I can give invited guest lectures for courses and/or seminar series and collaborate with BCB faculty on mutually beneficial research projects and the resulting publications. Our IAV program at NADC currently involves independent and collaborative research and resulting publications with computational approaches to sequence data management, phylogenetic analyses, antigenic evolution, geo-spatial investigations of viral evolution, migration, inter-species transmission, etc.