Center for One Health Research
The Center for One Health Research (COHR) gathers faculty, staff, and students from VMCVM and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) who have a shared interest in cooperative research and scholarship related to infectious diseases. This collaboration is founded on the two schools’ One Health philosophy, which is based on the understanding that animal health, human health, and the environment are inextricably linked; consequently, professionals from these fields must work together to protect, promote, and improve overall health. The center coordinates research, instruction, and outreach activities related to understanding the disease processes that affect both animal and human health, and supports the continued advancement of the science and technology of disease-intervention strategies.
In 2020, significant renovations were completely to robustly grow VMCVM's research program in infectious diseases. The COHR's research laboratories were renovated to accommodate a large research team led by Dr. Mohamed Seleem, a newly recruited endowed chair in bacteriology. In addition, investments were made to improve the COHR's equipment, administrative infrastructure/operations, and animal facilities and support for ACE2 murine models for COVID researchers.
Redirect ItemAnandakrishnan Laboratory , redirect
Led by principal investigator Ramu Anandakrishnan, assistant professor for biomedical sciences at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Anandakrishnan Lab is developing bioinformatics algorithms for identifying potential cancer genes and using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing protocol to investigate the effect of mutations in the cancer genes identified above.
Redirect ItemCaswell Laboratory , redirect
Led by principal investigator Clay Caswell, who has been studying bacterial pathogens for more than 15 years. His work has included characterizing mechanisms of Streptococcus and Brucella pathogenesis. Our group uses a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches, coupled with in vitro and in vivo model systems to identify and describe mechanisms that bacteria use to colonize and infect their hosts. Of particular interest are pathways that utilize transcriptional and posttranscriptional means to coordinate the expression of genes during infection.
Article ItemCosta Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Blaise Costa, pharmacology professor at Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. His office and laboratory are located at the Virginia Tech Center for One Health Research facility. Costa lab is interested in developing novel treatment strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders that affect human beings and other animals.
Article ItemGaji Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Raj Gaji, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, the Gaji Lab focuses on understanding the biology and pathogenesis of important human pathogen Toxoplasma gondii with a long-term to develop safe and effective therapy against toxoplasmosis.
Article ItemGloag Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Erin Gloag, assistant professor of microbiology and biofilm biology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, the Gloag Lab's mission is to discover and understand the mechanisms by which pathogenic bacterial biofilms persist in a host to establish chronic infections.
Redirect ItemJohnson Laboratory , redirect
Led by principal investigator Teresa Johnson, discipline chair for microbiology and immunology at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Johnson Lab is focused on understanding disease pathophysiology, particularly, for respiratory viruses, with the goal of developing vaccines, therapeutics, and point-of-care diagnostics for these infections.
Article ItemRamirez-Barrios Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Roger Ramirez-Barrios, clinical associate professor of veterinary parasitology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, the Ramirez-Barrios Lab's studies gastrointestinal parasites and vector-borne parasites in domestic animals.
Article ItemRoballo Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Kelly Roballo, faculty for cell biology and physiology at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Roballo lab focuses on neurodegenerative diseases and regenerative medicine.
Redirect ItemSeleem Laboratory , redirect
Led by principal investigator Mohamed Seleem, professor and Tyler J. and Frances F. Young Chair in Bacteriology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, the Seleem Laboratory is focused on developing new antimicrobials and improving delivery of drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases. The lab is also developing novel methods for early detection and identification of a single bacterium and fungus in a complex environment.
Article ItemSmith Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Stephen Smith, the Aquatic Medicine Program and Laboratory serve as a resource and aquatic animal facility for faculty and graduate students. The program focuses on the diseases, diagnosis, pathology, immunology, parasitology and bacteriology of both vertebrate and invertebrate aquatic organisms. The Aquatic Medicine Laboratory is equipped to maintain a variety of freshwater and marine species and to provide a basic laboratory for investigations into these organisms. The lab also serves as a source of collaborative efforts with other institutions and agencies interested in the culture, diseases, and problems associated with aquatic organisms.
Article ItemWitonsky Laboratory , article
Led by principal investigator Sharon Witonsky, associate professor of equine field service in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, the Witonsky Lab's mission is unraveling the immunopathology of different pathogens and improving disease outcomes. Current efforts are focused predominantly on Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM).
Former COHR Directors
Dr. Sriranganathan, former director of the Center for One Health Research (COHR). A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1984, Sriranganathan made significant contributions to research on vaccine development related to zoonotic diseases and gene regulation. He has written more than 200 publications and received four U.S. patents. The current USDA approved Brucellosis vaccine RB51 was developed at the COHR by Drs. Schurig, Boyle, and Sriranganathan and aided in the eradication of this disease in the United States. His more recent focus has been on host genetics and disease resistance and susceptibility in Brucellosis, Tuberculosis and Paratuberculosis. He hopes to help address zoonotic disease burden in the developing world.
Stephen Boyle, professor emeritus of biomedical sciences and pathobiology and former director of Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases (CMMID currently known as COHR) in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1984, Boyle made significant contributions to research on vaccine development related to zoonotic diseases and gene regulation. He has written more than 130 publications and received four U.S. patents. He was a founding member of the Alliance for Contraception for Cats and Dogs and served on its board and as chair of its Scientific Advisory Committee.
Gerhardt Schurig, professor emeritus of immunology and former dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Appointed as the college's third dean, serving from 2004 to 2013. Schurig is considered one of the world's leading brucellosis researchers and is internationally renowned for his work in developing vaccines against bovine brucellosis. Before he served as dean, Schurig was the college's associate dean for research and graduate studies, the director of Virginia Tech's Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences, and a senior researcher and former director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases (CMMID currently known as COHR). During his seven-year tenure as head of that center, it became a major research and development center focused on creating vaccines and improved diagnostic tests for several economically significant animal diseases.
Glassware Laboratory Support
Makenzlie is an undergrad studying Biology, and currently working as the glassware lab technician at three locations, including COHR. Previously she worked as a research scientist, where she studied Cognitive Deficits such as Autism and stuttering. Outside of the lab, Makenzlie enjoy crafts, baking, and going out on new adventures.