Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology Faculty

Stephen M. Boyle, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology


  • 1971
    PhD, Bacteriology
    University of Rhode Island
  • 1966
    BA, Natural Sciences
    Rutgers the State University

Brief Bio

Dr. Stephen Boyle received a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Rutgers, The State University (New Jersey) and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Rhode Island. He was a postdoctoral fellow and tenured faculty in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University in Canada. He is a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. He is one of the founding members of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs.

Research Interests

Dr. Boyle's principal research interests revolve around the application of recombinant DNA technology to vaccine development, In particular he pursues interests in the development of vaccines for Brucella in cattle and humans, and for immuno-contraception in cats.

Brucella Vaccines

Dr. Boyle studies mice as model systems to understand the pathogenesis of Brucella spp, including brucellosis in cattle and humans, as well as the development of improved vaccines that use brucellosis vaccines as platforms to protect against additional pathogens.

  • Using microarray systems (custom glass and Affymetrix) to measure the expression of Brucella spp. genes or host genes during the course of infections in primary macrophages, macrophage cell lines, mice or cattle. This information is being used to help rationalize the development of a novel vaccine effective against brucellosis in humans as well as other facultative intracellular pathogens. By comparing the expression of genes in both Brucella and macrophages, he is helping define the genetic basis of host-pathogen interactions that favor pathogen survival.
  • Optimizing the heterologous (other pathogens) gene expression inside the B. abortus vaccine strain RB51 for purposes of making a more effective multivalent vaccine against several human pathogens. Currently, he is focusing on the expression of the anthrax protective antigen in vaccine strain RB51 with the intent on improving protection from 50% to 100% of the animals immunized with a single dose of RB51
  • Exploring the use of strain RB51 to deliver and improve the protection afforded by the F1 and V antigens of Yersinia pestis using a mouse model.

Immuno-contraception Vaccines

Dr. Boyle also applies recombinant DNA technology to vaccine development, particularly as applied to immuno-contraception in cats. This research focuses on the use of FDA or USDA approved recombinant vaccine strains as platforms to deliver immuno-contraceptive antigens to cats. He is currently focusing on engineering gonadotrophin releasing hormone into an approved feline herpes vaccine strain and testing its efficacy in cats.

Professional Experience

  • 2010 – Present
    Professor Emeritus
    Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 1990 – 2010
    Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 1984 – 1990
    Associate Professor
    Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 1976 – 1984
    Assistant & Associate Professor
    Division of Biomedical Sciences
    Faculty of Medicine
    Memorial University
  • 1972 – 1976
    Research Associate
    Division of Biomedical Sciences
    Faculty of Medicine
    Memorial University
  • 1971 – 1972
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Department of Biology
    Boston University

Professional Memberships

International Activities

Country of Interest: Korea

Future Research:

  • Vaccines for prevention of animal diseases.
  • Collaborating with Veterinary College of Chonbuk University in the Republic of South Korea to test second generation versions of vaccine Brucella Abortus RB51 to protect against Brucellosis as well as Neosporosis and Theilerosis.

Selected Publications

  1. He Y, Reichow S, Ramamoorthy S, Ding X, Lathigra R, Craig JC, Sobral BW, Schurig GG, Sriranganathan N, Boyle SM. Brucella melitensis Triggers Time-Dependent Modulation of Apoptosis and Down-Regulation of Mitochondrion-Associated Gene Expression in Mouse Macrophages. Infection & Immunity 2006 Sep;74(9):5035-46.
  2. Aloka B. Bandara, Andrea Contreras, Sherry H. Poff, Nammalwar Sriranganathan Gerhardt G. Schurig, SM Boyle. Mutants of either ure-1 or ure-2 operons in Brucella suis are attenuated in macrophages and clear faster from spleens of BALB/c mice. BioMedCentral-Infectious Diseases, 2006.
  3. Vemulapalli, R., N. Sanakkayala, J. Gulani, G.G. Schurig, S.M. Boyle, D.S. Lindsay, and N. Sriranganathan. 2006. Reduced Cerebral Infection of Neospora aninum in BALB/c Mice Vaccinated with Recombinant Brucella abortus RB51 Strains Expressing N. caninum SRS2 and GRA7 Proteins. Submitted to Infection & Immunity.
  4. Carter, G.R., S.M. Boyle, and G.R. Carter. 1998. All You Need to Know About DNA, Genes and Genetic Engineering: A Concise, Comprehensive Outline, C. Thomas, Publisher, Ltd. Springfield, IL.