Research
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Research Areas


The following examples are provided to give prospective graduate students a sample of some of the ongoing research activities at the college. Click on any thumbnail image for a larger image.

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of all research areas and faculty at VA-MD Vet Med.

For more information about faculty and their research interests, please visit the following pages:

  • Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology (DBSP) roster
  • Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (DSACS) roster
  • Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences (DLACS) roster
  • Department of Population Health Sciences (DPHS) roster
  • Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) roster

Research Areas

 

Immunology
Dr Ansar Ahmed
Ahmed Dr. Ahmed's laboratory investigates the control of interferon-gamma, a cytokine that is known to play a very important role in immunity against intracellular infections and is implicated in many autoimmune inflammatory diseases. His studies could improve the use of interferon-gamma in the treatment of inflammation and protection from infectious disease.
 

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Infectious Diseases
Dr. Nammalwar Sriranganathan, Dr. Gerhardt Schurig and Dr. Sharon Witonsky
Boyle Drs. Sriranganathan, Schurig and Witonsky study Brucella, bacteria that cause brucellosis, a worldwide zoonotic disease that infects a range of mammals including swine, cattle and humans, and could be used by bioterrorists. These investigators are developing better vaccine candidates to prevent brucellosis and other biothreat diseases, like anthrax and plaque, simultaneously. In addition, they are studying the interactions of Brucella with vertebrate cells in order to understand communications between the genomes of the host and pathogen that favor a successful or unsuccessful infections.
 
Dr. David Lindsay
Weblab Cryptosporidiosis, toxoplasmosis, and microsporidiosis are parasitic diseases that pose significant world health problems and are increasingly a public health concern for Americans. The parasites that cause these diseases are acquired by consumption of contaminated water and food. These parasites are present in the environment and enter the water and food supply by unusual means. Dr. Lindsay's laboratory is identifying potential treatments for these infections. His laboratory is also working on identifying transmission patterns and ways to inactivate these parasites in water and food.
 
Dr. Xiang-Jin Meng
Meng Dr. Meng's studies the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and pathogenesis and develops vaccines against viral diseases. He is particularly interested in emerging, re-emerging and zoonotic viral diseases. Viruses currently being studied in Dr. Meng's lab include the hepatitis E virus (human, swine and avian HEVs), porcine circoviruses, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. In addition, Dr. Meng is also interested in studying porcine TT virus and SARS-coronavirus.
 
Dr. Nammalwar Sriranganathan
Nathan Aging is associated with a waning of immunity known as immune senescence. This phenomenon may play a pivotal role in reduced vaccine efficacy and increased risk of morbidity and mortality in advanced age due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella, influenza and other microbes. Unlike most other intracellular pathogens, aging does not lead to enhanced susceptibility to Brucella infection. Dr. Sriranganathan and collaborators at Wake Forest University School of Medicine seek to determine the age-related factors that enhance host resistance against Brucella infection in older mice. This could result in a better understanding of immune senescence in humans.

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Toxicology
Dr. Marion Ehrich
Ehrich Many organophosphate pesticides have long-term neurotoxic effects, and apparently stress may increase these effects. Dr. Ehrich in collaboration with Dr. Jortner studies these effects in various in vivo and in vitro models. This research includes examination of short- and long-term behavioral, biochemical, and pathological effects of these commonly used agents.
 

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Informatics
Dr. Jeffrey Wilcke, Dr. Kurt Zimmerman, and Dr. Julie Green
Wilcke The Veterinary Medical Informatics Laboratories (VMIL) develop and support practical information resources to improve veterinary medical care and safeguard human health. VMIL is a national leader in an emerging scientific discipline that uses modern information technology to improve management of medical data. The Drug Information Laboratory (DIL) is developing an internet-based decision support center, designed to optimize antimicrobial therapy in food animals and minimize the development of resistant pathogens in animals producing food for human consumption. The lab also manages the FDA Database of Approved Animal Drug Products and publishes the FDA Green Book. The Veterinary Terminology Services Laboratory (VTSL) provides logistical support for the veterinary content in SNOMEDŽ, an international medical nomenclature standard. VTSL provides terminology support to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and to participating state diagnostic laboratories. Finally, VTSL provides terminology support to vendors of electronic veterinary patient record systems (university, zoological, companion animal practice, food animal, etc.).

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