College of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology

NIH Post-Doctoral Infectious Diseases Training Program  

Program Goals

This program, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, is designed to provide research training needed to address current gaps in understanding how microbial pathogens emerge from animal reservoirs and are transmitted to humans and to develop improved methods of control. 
Antigen Presentation
(click on image for larger view)

The landmark Institute of Medicine report, "Emerging Infections: Microbial Threats to Health in the United States" highlighted the importance of studying infectious diseases in natural animal hosts - 60% of all human pathogens are directly transmitted from or emergent from animal reservoirs.  Understanding the behavior of pathogens in their natural hosts, including mechanisms of persistence, evolution of virulence, acquisition and maintenance of antimicrobial resistance, and genetic change underlying transmission phenotypes, is now widely recognized as critically important to addressing emerging infections.  The broad spectrum of microbial pathogens, from small RNA viruses to multicellular parasites, which infect domestic and wild animals, provides a rich opportunity to understand pathogen behavior in their natural hosts both as models for human disease as well as for directly understanding pathogen evolution and transmission to humans.



The program has two types of trainees: (i) clinically-trained veterinarians, usually with residency training in clinical microbiology, internal medicine, or pathology; and (ii) post-PhD fellows who expand and enhance their research capabilities in infectious diseases.  Critically, both groups of trainees are integrated in the laboratory research training phase with shared trainee led research-in-progress seminars, shared trainee led outside speaker seminars, and in the responsible conduct of research progression.  This integration significantly enhances the training environment as each type of trainee brings unique strengths. 

Training Faculty

The training faculty is interdisciplinary with 11 investigators in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, the Paul G. Allen Center for Global Animal Health, and the School of Molecular Biosciences. Investigators are internationally recognized for their research in infectious diseases and provide contemporary training in well-funded research laboratories.

Guy H. Palmer, DVM, PhD. Regents Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases and Creighton Chair of Global Animal Health. Program Director. Research Emphasis: Bacterial antigenic variation and strain superinfection; Microbial immunity and vaccine development. Publications

Wendy Brown, MPH, PhD. Regents Professor of Immunology. Program Co-director.  Research Emphasis: Control of microbial infection by CD4+ T lymphocytes; bacterial secretion systems as targets of protective immunity.  Publications

John Alderete, PhD.  Professor of Microbiology.  Research Emphasis: Interactions of eukaryotic parasites with the host cell and mucosal immune system.  Publications (PubMed search under Alderete JF)

Troy Bankhead, PhD.  Assistant Professor of Microbiology.  Research Emphasis:  Recombination mechanisms and antigenic variation of the Lyme Disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi Publications (PubMed search under Bankhead T)

Tom Besser, DVM, PhD.  Professor of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology.  Research Emphasis: Transmission of enteric pathogens, including E. coli and non-typhoidal Salmonella; epidemiology of antibiotic resistance. Publications (PubMed search under Besser TE)

Kelly A. Brayton, PhD. Associate Professor of Molecular Biology. Research Emphasis: Mechanisms of antigenic variation; microbial genomics. Publications

Shira Broschat, PhD.  Professor of Computer Science and Adjunct in Microbiology.  Research Emphasis: Current research is focused on rough surface scattering and molecular modeling of pathogen behavior in biofilms, modeling of maintenance and spread of antibiotic resistance via horizontal gene transfer, and bacterial source tracking using microarrays and re-sequencing approaches.  Publications: (PubMed search under Broschat SL)

Douglas R. Call, PhD. Associate Professor of Microbial Epidemiology and Corline Engle Faculty Fellow. Research Emphasis: Genetic basis for enteric pathogen virulence, antibiotic resistance, and transmission. Publications

Michael Konkel, PhD.  Professor of Microbiology.  Research Emphasis:  Enteric pathogen interactions with the host, especially Campylobacter pathogenesis.  Publications: (PubMed search under Konkel ME)

Audrey Lau, MPH, PhD.  Assistant Professor of Parasitology.  Research Emphasis: Apicomplexan parasite virulence and host-parasite interactions.  Publications: (PubMed search under Lau AO)

Robert Mealey, DVM, PhD.  Associate Professor of Immunology.  Research Emphasis:  Immune control of lentiviral infections.  Publications: (PubMed search under Mealey RH)

Additional Faculty

Tim Baszler, DVM, PhD  Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases;
William Davis, PhD Professor of Immunology;
Michael Kahn, PhD Professor of Microbiology;
Don Knowles, DVM, PhD Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases;
Kevin Lahmers, DVM, PhD Assistant Professor of Pathology and Immunology;
Nancy Magnuson, PhD Professor of Immunology;
Terry McElwain, DVM, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases;
David Prieur, DVM, PhD, Professor of Pathology;
Ray Reeves, PhD Professor of Biochemistry; Glen Scoles, PhD Research Entomologist and Adjunct Professor.

To Apply

Please contact the Program Director, Guy Palmer or Co-Director, Wendy Brown for information about current and future open positions. You may also contact any of the specific faculty members for more information about their specific research programs. Note: NIH restricts appointment to citizens and permanent residents.
Guy H. Palmer, DVM, PhD
Regents Professor and Director, Infectious Diseases and Microbial Immunology Training Program
402 Bustad Hall  Washington State University
Pullman WA 99164-7040
Tel: 509-335-6033; FAX: 509-335-8529
Wendy C. Brown, MPH, PhD
Regents Professor and Co-Director, Infectious Diseases and Microbial Immunology Training Program
402 Bustad Hall  Washington State University
Pullman WA 99164-7040
Tel: 509-335-6067; FAX: 509-335-8529

Last Edited: Dec 21, 2010 2:29 PM   

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