My laboratory is focused on understanding factors (genetics, metabolic state, nutrition, management, behavior) associated with immune function and health of periparturient dairy cows. Furthermore, in my laboratory we explore reproductive strategies to improve fertility of cows.
I have two primary research areas: 1) understanding the mechanisms of plasmid dissemination associated with antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens; and 2) understanding the succession of the microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract related to health and development. I work primarily with multidrug resistance-encoding plasmids of E. coli and Salmonella humans and production animals. The goal of this work is to understand the spread of these plasmids within and between human and animal bacterial populations. I also work closely with the poultry industries to study the bacterial populations inhabiting the gastrointestinal tracts of turkeys and chickens. The goal of this work is to understand the succession of bacterial communities over time, and how the modulation of these communities can be achieved using non-antibiotic alternatives.
Calcium oxalate urinary stones represent a painful, debilitating, and costly disease that affects humans and dogs. Our long-term research goals are to understand key factors responsible for calcium oxalate stone disease and develop safe and effective therapies to prevent stone recurrence. In addition to clinial nutritional studies we investigating genetic markers of disease and investigating the microanatomy of uroliths.
Genetics/molecular biology of cancer - understanding heritable risk traits for common canine tumors Cancer immunology/immunotherapy - understanding mechanisms of immune response to cancer in lab, in clinic, back to lab. Current work specifically studying tumor immunosuppressive barrier Lymphocyte activation - intrinsic negative regulation and its role in maintaining lymphocyte quiescence Cancer pathology/diagnostic medicine - stratification of molecular tumor subtypes that are clinically relevant (prognostic and to guide therapy) Pre-clinical (lab animals and spontaneous tumors of dogs) drug development studies for cancer therapeutics (drugs and biologics). Development of FasL gene-based immunotherapy, ligand targeted toxins, antibodies, genetically modified bacterial vectors, targeted nanoparticles carrying gene therapy, small molecules Nicotine immunotoxicology - role of nicotine in lymphocyte activation and in tumor progression
Our research focuses on the genetic basis and functional analysis of naturally occurring neuromuscular and metabolic disease in horses. Our work includes both diseases that are both clinically and economically important in the horse, as well as the use of the horse as a biomedical model.
I am a major contributor to the international equine genome mapping effort and study the molecular and genetic basis of metabolic, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disease in dogs and horses. I also collaborate on the identification of genomic signatures of selection for performance traits and the functional underlying alleles in the horse.
Molecular mechanisms of infectious disease resistance in swine using relevant viral infection models.
My primary research currently is in epilepsy, genetics, metabolic disease, neurologic disorders, molecular medicine, neuromodulation, electrophysiology, and comparative medicine. Much of the research is in naturally occurring canine models for the sake of dogs and as translational for human research including epilepsy, neuropathies, and calcium oxalate urolithasis.
My research is dedicated to the application of molecular and cytogenetic approaches to the study of genomics, immunogenetics and evolution.
My research program is working to gain understanding of disease pathogenesis and to develop novel therapeutic approaches for HIV and Prion diseases.
The genetic and nutritional basis for equine neurologic and muscle disorders including Shivers, rhabdomyolysis and other myopathies.
Main research interests are in immunogenetics and inflammation. Current active research projects are as follows: 1) Human IgG Fc receptor function in sarcoidosis; 2) Genetic mechanisms of human nutrophil antigen systems in transfusion medicine; and 3) Genetics of human chronic inflammatory diseases.