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Research Faculty Directory

Researchers in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) embody the spirit of discovery and channel their enthusiasm into projects examining the underlying molecular and biochemical mechanisms of diseases in livestock, companion, wild, and exotic species. Our multidisciplinary group of clinical and basic investigators is engaged in cutting edge research that directly impacts both veterinary and human medicine. The CVM collectively receives more than $13 million dollars in state, federal, and private funding each year.

Research Building

The college has 5 academic departments and two service departments including the veterinary medical teaching hospital (small and large animal clinics) and the Texas Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS) which provide a stimulating environment fostering translational research that will shape the future. We have approximately 250 faculty members in our college that are actively engaged in research, teaching and service.

The CVM has faculty members from many diverse research areas, including our seven signature programs are conducting interdisciplinary research projects on basic, translational and clinical biomedical research.  The findings of these projects have been reported in prestigious journals, including Nature, Science, Cell, and Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.  This research is supported by federal, state, and private agencies, such as NIH, USDA, and Morris Animal Foundation.

A major aspect of our mission is to train future scientists and clinicians in the cutting edge biomedical techniques and ensure they are on the forefront of their areas of expertise. We have over 130 graduate students and numerous undergraduate students that are actively engaged in research.


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Research Disciplines:
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Keywords:
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Scholarly Interests:
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Abbott, Louise Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Toxicology, Neuroscience
Scholarly Interests:
developmental toxicology with special focus on the effects of mercury on the developing nervous system.
Adams, Garry Senior Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Immunology, Cell Biology, Genomics, Infectious Disease, Pathology, Microbiology, Biodefense, Food Animal, Education
Scholarly Interests:
I have long been intrigued with the biological interface between hosts and etiological agents, and the resulting patterns of morphological lesions, especially lesions caused by infectious disease agents. The morphologic, cytokine/chemokine, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic patterns of host and pathogen responses provoke a series of fundamental questions, e.g. what is the molecular pathogenesis of these lesions?; does the host genome manipulate the pathogen or vice versa?; what host and pathogen cellular pathways are perturbed and dysfunctional in the disease processes?; what is the cause of death?; can we apply genomic pathology (the convergence of ‘omics’ and morphology) and systems biology to more fully understand infection biology as the basis for improved prediction of host and pathogen mechanistic genes and pathways critical to health and clinical illness? In response to these questions, my research is focused on the: 1) investigation of the comparative molecular pathogenesis of zoonotic intracellular bacterial pathogens in natural animal models, particularly salmonellosis, brucellosis and mycobacterial diseases, 2) development of vaccines and host gene expression-based diagnostics for zoonotic and select agent caused diseases, and especially 3) development of in silico host:pathogen interactome predictive models based upon bi-directional in vivo host (bovine/murine) and Salmonella enterica Typhimurium interactions at the target organ interface, enteric Peyer’s patches. The vision to develop improved animal models for salmonellosis originated in the early 2000s in association with my collaborators, Drs. Andreas Bäumler and Renee Tsolis. From our very successful and continuing collaboration grew the idea to develop a computational infection biology model based on temporal neonatal calf in vivo microarray-based transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of the acute Salmonella infection process. We expanded our research team by including Drs. Sara Lawhon, Kenneth Drake and Harold ‘Skip’ Garner, focusing on an envisioned systems biology analysis of both host and pathogen comprehensive transcriptomic and proteomic datasets derived from our in vivo biological model. We next computationally fused the datasets based on actual Salmonella proteomic data (performed by Dr. Mary Lipton at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) and computationally predicted bovine host structural proteins to identify maximum likelihoods of host and pathogen protein:protein interactions as the basis for our preliminary in silico interactome model to predict mechanistic genes and linked perturbed cellular pathways. We then established in vitro phenotypes of S. Typhimurium deletion mutants (provided by Dr. Helene Andrews-Polymenis) of the predicted mechanistic genes for attachment, invasion or survival in murine RAW 264.7 macrophages to confirm almost half of the modeled predictions. Finally, over half of the model-predicted and in vitro-confirmed S. Typhimurium genes were validated to have in vivo phenotypes in our bovine ligated ileal loop model. We subsequently performed siRNA knockdowns in RAW 264.7 macrophages of predicted host proteins interacting with Salmonella proteins and validated in vitro phenotypes in almost half of the predicted host genes. Our lab proposes to significantly enhance the predictability of the in silico interactome model by adding the NEXTGen sequencing transcriptomics, advanced proteomics and metabolomics. By fusing higher quality genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic datasets derived from in vivo S. Typhimurium comparative infection models in mice, calves and non-human primates, we propose to further enhance the predictability and validation of in silico interactome model as a tool for the ultimate practice of “precision human medicine” as envisioned by the 2011 report by the National Academy of Sciences. As our publications document, we have also developed in silico interactome modeling tools for intracellular bacterial pathogens, Brucella melitensis and Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis, all based on in vivo datasets. Our team has published 42 peer-reviewed manuscripts on salmonellosis using animal models, confirming our combined abilities to perform complex series of in vivo and in vitro experiments and developing high level in silico predictive models as we propose here. My long term role as co-developer of our in vivo based in silico interactome predictive model and personal collaborations with each of our team of investigators and core directors enables us to envision developing the in silico interactome predictive model for the biomedical research community.
Andrews-Polymenis, Helene Associate Professor - Joint Appointment VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Food Safety, Genomics, Genetics, Infectious Disease, Pathology, Microbiology
Scholarly Interests:
Arnold, Carolyn Assistant Professor VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Infectious Disease, Surgery, Microbiology
Scholarly Interests:
My research interest is in the area of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in horses.
Arosh, Joe Associate Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
central role of prostaglandins on molecular and cellular aspects of reproductive processes, gynecologic diseases and endocrine cancers.
August, John Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Medicine, Education
Scholarly Interests:
Feline internal medicine; distance education; educational technology
Bailey, Murl Professor VTPP
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Toxicology; veterinary toxicology; toxic plants; wildlife, and environmental toxicology; anesthesiology; pharmacology; experimental surgery; clinical medicine; emergency medicine, bioterrorism, weapons of mass destruction.
Ball, Judith Associate Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Toxicology, Cell Biology, Oncology, Virology, Field Service (Livestock)
Scholarly Interests:
Our studies focus on the molecular and biochemical aspects of viruses, interactions of viral proteins with host cell moieties and intracellular transport. The overall goal of our work is to identify unique therapeutic targets for viral intervention. We employ a multitude of techniques such as yeast two-hybrid assays, laser-scanning confocal microscopic techniques (single and multiphoton), synthetic peptide chemistry, protein analyses and mutagenesis studies. Our primary interest is rotavirus, the single most important cause of pediatric, life-threatening gastroenteritis that annually claims ~610,000 young lives worldwide and results in hospitalization of 1 in 60 children in the U.S. at an annual cost of one billion dollars. We also study other viral systems that impact human and animal health with a focus on dissecting the association viral proteins with plasma membrane microdomains, such as caveolae.
Banu, Sakhila Assistant Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Toxicology, Reproductive Biology, Environmental Health, Oncology
Scholarly Interests:
Endocrine toxicology; endocrine oncology; reproductive toxicity of chromium-VI on ovarian development and function, pregnancy, and fetal development; vitamin C and nutrioxidants' intervention on heavy metal-induced toxicity; prostaglandin E2 biosynthesis, signaling and transport on mammary gland cancer development
Barhoumi Mouneimne, Roula Research Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Toxicology, Imaging
Scholarly Interests:
Dietary effects on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons metabolites and their activation under different circadian rhythms. Development of methods in the fluorescence microscopy field that achieve data acquisition and analysis in real time, quantitative analysis, and mathematical modeling of cellular signaling. Development of novel technological tools to decipher molecular and physiological events in cells and immunological tissues under normal toxin exposure and disease conditions.
Barr, James Assistant Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Medicine
Scholarly Interests:
Mechanical ventilation; coagulation; fluid therapy; cytokine response in sepsis
Barton, Claudia Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Oncology; aspiration cytology; small animal reproduction
Bazer, Fuller Distinguished Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Immunology, Reproductive Biology, Cell Biology, Physiology, Food Animal, Education
Scholarly Interests:
Reproductive biology with emphasis on uterine biology and pregnancy. Mechanisms of action of pregnancy recognition signals from the conceptus to the maternal uterus, including interferon tau and estrogen from ruminant and pig conceptuses, respectively, are studied at the molecular and cellular levels. The roles of uterine secretions as transport proteins, regulatory molecules, growth factors and enzymes and endocrine regulation of their secretion is another major research interest. The endocrinology of pregnancy, especially the roles of lactogenic and growth hormones in fetal-placental development and uterine functions are being studied. The mechanism(s) of action and potential therapeutic value of conceptus interferons and uterine-derived hematopoietic growth factors are areas of research with both pigs and sheep as models for human disease.
Beaver, Bonnie Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Normal and abnormal domestic animal behavior; human-animal interrelationships; animal welfare
Bennett, Brad Lecturer VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Berghman, Luc Associate Professor-Joint Appointment VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Immunology, Biodefense, Avian Medicine
Scholarly Interests:
Major goals of my program are (1) to acquire fundamental new knowledge of the avian immune system, especially antigen presentation and (2) to apply this new knowledge toward the development of novel immuno-biotechnological tools, such as vaccines, immunoassays and diagnostics. Basic avian immune studies include the study of cellular and humoral interactions, especially those involving the chicken professional antigen-presenting cells (APC)s (macrophages, dendritic cells and B-cells). Immuno-biotechnological applications include the development of monoclonal antibodies (a routine procedure and hallmark of our lab), polyclonal antibodies (incl. in chicken egg yolk), and recombinant antibodies for diagnostic, prophylactic and therapeutic purposes. Current projects feature the development of antibody-guided 'smart' vaccines, and the development of immunodiagnostic and analytical tools for the detection of a wide variety of molecules and microorganisms.
Bissett, Wesley Assistant Professor & Director, VET VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Epidemiology, Toxicology, Environmental Health, Disaster Management, Education
Scholarly Interests:
Veterinary emergency response, environmental health, epidemiology, and public health.
Blanchard, Terry Professor VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Reproductive Biology
Scholarly Interests:
Theriogenology and ambulatory emergency. Stallion and mare reproduction; management strategies to improve stallion fertility; stallion testicular dysfunction.
Blue-McLendon, Alice Clinical Assistant Professor VTPP
Areas of Specialization:
Physiology, Zoo, Exotic and Wildlife Medicine
Scholarly Interests:
Veterinary physiology, avian reproductive physiology, medicine of exotic animals, management of exotic animals teaching and research projects
Bolling, Melanie Veterinarian VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Bratton, Gerald Senior Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
gross anatomy; neuroanatomy; nutritional influences on lead intoxication; metal effects on reproductive function; localization of central nervous system neurons and their peripheral distribution.
Bray, Jeffrey Research Associate VTPP
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Brightsmith, Donald Assistant Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Environmental Health, Infectious Disease, Ecology
Scholarly Interests:
Avian diseases; avian ecology; geophagy (consumption of soil); avian conservation; disease threats from the live bird trade; diets of wild and captive exotic birds; role of infectious diseases in wild and endangered bird populations. Specialization in psittacines (parrots, macaws, parakeets and allies).
Brinsko, Steven Professor & Associate Department Head for Academic Programs VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Reproductive Biology
Scholarly Interests:
Equine theriogenology. Sperm membrane function; and semen preservation.
Budke, Christine Associate Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Anatomy, Environmental Health, Ecology, Avian Medicine, Education
Scholarly Interests:
Epidemiology; burden of disease indicators; zoonotic diseases (larval cestodes); transmission dynamics of parasitic diseases; international veterinary medicine and public health.
Burghardt, Robert Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies DCVM
Areas of Specialization:
Toxicology, Reproductive Biology, Cell Biology, Environmental Health, Imaging
Scholarly Interests:
Reproductive biology, toxicology/environmental health; use of non-invasive imaging technologies to investigate the mechanisms by which biological response modifiers ranging from hormones and growth factors to environmental chemicals alter cellular signaling pathways and cellular homeostasis
Cai, James Assistant Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Genomics, Genetics, Infectious Disease, Microbiology
Scholarly Interests:
Our research focuses on elucidation of genotype-phenotype relationships using computational and evolutionary genomics approaches. We develop computational tools and statistical tests to estimate key parameters of evolutionary processes that shape the sequence and expression variability within and between individuals, populations, and species. We apply theories to genomic diversity and divergence data in order to search for the signatures of selection in the genomes of different organisms.
Cannon, Marvin Visiting Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Carroll, Gwendolyn Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Pharmacology, Laboratory Animal Medicine, Zoo, Exotic and Wildlife Medicine, Avian Medicine, Food Animal
Scholarly Interests:
pharmacology and pharmacodynamics of novel analgesics and anesthetics and their method of delivery in minor species and cats
Carter, Kent Professor & Assistant Department Head for Animal Resources VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Equine lameness
Chaffin, Keith Professor & Assistant Department Head for Clinical Programs VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Equine internal medicine, pediatrics, respiratory disease and ultrasonography; Rhodococcus equi foal pneumonia; equine infectious disease; equine gastrointestinal disease; equine urogenital disease; and equine neurologic disease.
Chapkin, Robert Professor - Joint Appointment VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
chemoprevention; dietary effects on chronic inflammation, T-cell biology and colon cancer; plasma membrane microdomain organization and protein trafficking; functional genomics and systems biology.
Chenault, Edith Lecturer VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Science/Tech Journalism
Scholarly Interests:
Choi, Young Research Scientist VTPP
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Chowdhary, Bhanu Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Genomics, Genetics, Education
Scholarly Interests:
comparative genomics of domesticated animals; molecular cytogenetics; equine genome analysis; physical and comparative gene mapping; disease genetics; molecular analysis of equine fertility; functional analysis of the equine genome.
Clubb, Fred Clinical Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Pathology, Imaging, Cardiology, Diagnostic Imaging
Scholarly Interests:
Electron microscopic evaluation of myocardial and renal biopsies; qualitative and quantitative evaluation of implantable cardiovascular devices for nonGLP and GLP \preclinical trials.
Cohen, Noah Professor & Associate Department Head for Research and Graduate Studies VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Epidemiology, Genomics, Genetics, Infectious Disease, Medicine, Microbiology
Scholarly Interests:
Equine internal medicine. Special Interests: equine gastroenterology, infectious diseases, and neurology. Director, Equine Infectious Disease Laboratory.
Coleman, Michelle Lecturer/Masters Science,Thesis Option VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Epidemiology
Scholarly Interests:
Epidemiology
Cook, Audrey Associate Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Medicine
Scholarly Interests:
Endocrinology; gastroenterology; endoscopy and interventional radiology.
Cook, Walt Clinical Associate Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Cothran, Jr., Ernest (Gus) Clinical Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Genomics, Genetics
Scholarly Interests:
heredity basis of equine congenital defects and economically significant traits in domestic animals (mainly the horse); interrelationships of inbreeding, genetic polymorphism, and reproductive performance in horses; population genetics of feral horses; comparative aspects of genetics variation in horses under human selection and under natural selection; genetic aspects of captivity; genetics of domestication. Management of genetic polymorphism in small populations and conservation of rare breeds; genetic relationship among domestic horse breeds; changes in gene regulation based upon environmental factors; gene mapping of the horse.
Craig, Thomas Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Epidemiology, Genomics, Infectious Disease, Public Health, Parasitology, Ecology, Production Medicine, Zoo, Exotic and Wildlife Medicine, Food Animal
Scholarly Interests:
Transmission patterns of infections of prokaryotic and eukaryotic parasites and the control of disease caused by these parasites. Control of parasites resistant to extant pharmaceuticals by selection of hosts with phenotype resistance to parasites and the selection of parasites with phenotypes susceptible to extant pharmaceuticals.
Criscitiello, Michael Assistant Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Immunology, Toxicology, Genomics, Genetics, Infectious Disease, Education
Scholarly Interests:
My Comparative Immunogenetics Laboratory http://vetmed.tamu.edu/comparative-immunogenetics-lab studies immunology and evolution. Most of our research focuses on the early natural history of the vertebrate adaptive immune system, with particular attention given to the genetics of lymphocyte antigen receptors, mucosal immune mechanisms in the gut, antigen presentation and invertebrate innate immunogenomics. Our goals are bipartite, but related. Our first aim is to understand the evolution of our immune system: its genesis, subsequent natural history, and trajectory into the future. We pursue this using the comparative method focusing on evolutionarily strategic poikilothermic vertebrates (frog and shark) and economically important food species (shrimp, cattle and tuna). This work allows us to distinguish what aspects are phylogenetically fundamental in our own system and differentiate those that are merely accessory. Our second aim is to continue to discover and understand the many diverse tools less-studied organisms have evolved in their defensive batteries, which mouse and man often lack. These novel receptors, mechanisms, domains and tissue architectures will inform better vaccine development, biomedical engineering and clinical intervention for the better health of all animals.
Cummings, Kevin Assistant Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Epidemiology, Food Safety, Infectious Disease, Public Health
Scholarly Interests:
My research focuses on the use of analytic and molecular epidemiology to study Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens at the pre-harvest level.  Work is targeted at minimizing zoonotic transmission of pathogens that threaten food safety, as well as reducing disease burden among veterinary species. Additional areas of interest include emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and hospital biosecurity.
Curley, Jr., Kevin Lecturer VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Science/Tech Journalism
Scholarly Interests:
science communication; educational technology; web-based learning
Dabareiner, Robin Associate Professor VLCS
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
Equine lameness
Dai, Susie Research Assistant Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Scholarly Interests:
My research interests focus on several aspects: 1) Proteomics and interactomics in cancer and bioenergy. 2) Protein structure dynamics and structure-function relationship study with a focus in nuclear receptor and cellulase enzymes. 3) Biomonitoring programs which include analyzing veterinary drugs, mycotoxins, etc., in feed and food. We utilize a variety of techniques including shotgun proteomics, hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry and mass-spec based multiple target analysis. The major goals of the lab are: 1) Establish systems biology approaches to characterize and elucidate protein-protein interaction and mechanistic study of protein functions with the ultimate goal for novel therapies in cancer and breakthroughs for bioenergy production. 2) Develop methods for food and feed safety monitoring programs in a high throughput, multiple residue based fashion.
Davidson, Jacqueline Clinical Professor VSCS
Areas of Specialization:
Surgery
Scholarly Interests:
Physical rehabilitation; pain management; soft tissue surgery; orthopedic surgery
Davis, Don Associate Professor VTPB
Areas of Specialization:
Infectious Disease, Ecology
Scholarly Interests:
Infectious and parasitic diseases of native, exotic and/or feral wildlife captive or free-ranging, particularly those shared with traditional domestic livestock, farmed/ranched ungulates, and/or humans, with emphasis on experimental, controlled infections to evaluate improved diagnostics vaccines suitable for wildlife, and the systems to deliver chemotherapeutic agents or vaccines to wildlife. Development of handling and restraint facilities appropriate for captive wildlife, and natural (genetic) disease resistance in wildlife. Brucellosis, tuberculosis, anthrax, hemaprotozoon, trematodes, and nematodes.
Dees, W. Les Professor VIBS
Areas of Specialization:
Toxicology, Reproductive Biology, Physiology
Scholarly Interests:
Factors controlling or altering the onset of female puberty.
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