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Allen School News Spring 2014

Faculty News | Spring 2014

Drs. Hector Aguilar-Carreno and Douglas Call were elected to three-year terms on the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s immunology and infectious disease graduate program executive committee.

Dr. Felix Lankester, based in Arusha, Tanzania, was appointed an external supervisor for postgraduate and master’s students at Nelson Mandela African Institute for Science and Technology.

Dr. Mushtaq Memon was elected to serve on the board of directors of the Fulbright Association, the official alumni organization of the Fulbright Scholarship program

Dr. Guy Palmer was recently reappointed to the Board on Global Health at the Institute of Medicine through 2016. Dr. Palmer has also been reappointed to the editorial board of Infection and Immunity through 2016, and is newly appointed to the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Nelson Mandela African institute of Science and Technology, Tanzania, 2013-2016.

Student and Fellow News | Spring 2014

Marie Wrande, a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Leigh Knodler’s lab, was awarded a four year grant from the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS), to study salmonella-derived factors affecting its survival in the cytosol of intestinal epithelial cells, and activation of caspase-4 inflammasome by enteric bacteria. The award supports Dr. Wrande for 16 months training at the Allen School from her home university of Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Neeraj Suthar, student of Dr. Margaret Davis, completed his master’s degree in the immunology and infectious disease graduate program. Neeraj’s project was titled “An individual-based model of transmission of resistant bacteria in a veterinary teaching hospital.”

Allen School Research Receives Grand Challenge Explorations Grant

thumbi-mwangiDr. Samuel Thumbi Mwangi, assistant professor in the Allen School, was awarded a Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Grant. He will conduct research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute on malaria and East Coast fever in humans and cattle. Grand Challenge recipients are initially awarded $100,000 and could be funded for up to $1 million if the pilot research is successful.

Message from the Director | Spring 2014

Guy Palmer, director of the Allen School and Creighton Chair
Guy Palmer, director of the Allen School and Creighton Chair

A global approach to improving health and human opportunity is embedded in the mission of the Allen School. Certainly this underlies our research agenda, which has a major focus on detecting and stopping the global spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance. This effort is designed to protect health here at home as well as in other countries, where pathogens or resistance traits can arise as a result of close human and animal interaction. There is also a second global approach and that is in our educational mission. Our 57 graduate students, who are earning their master’s or doctoral degrees with an Allen School mentor, come from 22 different countries. The result is a dynamic educational environment that tests previously conceived assumptions about disease transmission and the economic, ecological, and sociological factors that affect the spread of infection. Equally, the unique perspectives of our students, and our faculty, which is also highly international, can provide new approaches to control—evident in one country’s setting but hidden from view in another. My hope, one that I believe is shared by our students, staff, and faculty, is that our “global learning environment” will also create a cohort of young scientists who will continue to work together in the future, perhaps living and working in different countries but united by perspectives and friendships launched in Pullman.

One World, One Health


The WSU Allen School has partnered with the University of Washington and Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil, to develop One Health research and training programs. One Health, or One Medicine, is a collaboration between veterinary medicine and human health professions to improve the lives and wellbeing of animals and people.

Universidade Federal de Viçosa has a well-recognized veterinary school and has recently created a new medical school on campus. The partnership between the three universities will enhance One Health efforts through collaborative work on tropical diseases and exchange programs between students in the United States and Brazil.

“This is a great opportunity for us to extend our global health partnership with the University of Washington into longstanding collaborations among WSU and Brazilian colleagues,” said Guy Palmer, Allen School director.

Global Animal Health Pathway Student Returns from Six Weeks in Africa

Healthier Animals, Healthier Children
by Tomasina Lucia ’14 DVM, Global Animal Health Pathway Student

When asked about their “big five,” most travelers to Kenya will regale you with talk of lions, elephants, or Cape buffalo. My big five were a bit different. As part of Washington State University’s Global Animal Health Pathway, I traveled to western Kenya for a six-week clinical rotation in research methods during the winter of my clinical year of veterinary training. After traveling almost 60 hours—with layovers and the time zone shift—to get from wintry Pullman to equatorial Kenya, my days were spent in a remote village called Lwak in the Nyanza Province. I stayed in a two-room cottage, complete with mosquito netting, squat toilet, and (usually!) running water. I was fortunate that Lwak has its own market, where I was able to purchase local fruit and a lot of fish, as the village is only a few kilometers from the shores of Lake Victoria (fun fact, Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world). Along with following community investigators as they surveyed area households, I worked with the project’s animal health team. Instead of snapping pictures of lions and elephants—big game are not historically native to that part of Kenya—my travel photos are mostly of cattle or chickens afflicted with diseases I had previously only seen in textbooks, like foot-and-mouth disease, heartwater, East Coast fever, Newcastle disease, or anaplasmosis.

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