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Focus Areas

Mycoplasma research and viral diseases of swine have traditionally been our areas of strength. Building on our strength, immunologist Eileen Thacker and her colleagues recently provided the first model to demonstrate that a primary Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae potentiates PRRSV-induced pneumonia in swine.

In other areas, our faculty are playing an increasingly important role in efforts to fight emerging or re-emerging zoonotic diseases. Whether it’s new agents like Nipah Virus or the reemergence of old diseases like tuberculosis, our research teams are investigating pathogenesis and applying that understanding to the development of new vaccines and better diagnostics.

We have a newly constructed Bio-Level 3 research lab that is well equipped to provide our scientists with a safe laboratory for handling pathogens needing the BL-3 level of containment.

Food Safety is a priority throughout the College. In VMPM, Dr. Nancy Cornick and her colleagues are working to define the mechanism by which Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli such as E. coli 0157:H7 establish the carrier-shedder state in cattle and sheep.

Bioinformatics & Computational Biology is an exciting new area where VMPM faculty like Drs. Greg Phillips and Chris Minion participate in interdepartmental research and graduate study. ISU was awarded a $3 million National Science Foundation Training Grant in Computational Molecular Biology and has established several new research centers including a Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics.