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What was your previous position and where?I am a neuropathologist trained at Duke Medical School. I was the neuropathologist at University of South Alabama for 20 years before I transferred to Tulane Medical School in 2001.
What brought you to LSU?I was professor of pathology at Tulane until Hurricane Katrina, when I re-located at the LSU AgCenter here in Baton Rouge.
What is your research interest?Since my training at Duke, I have been interested in the cause of Creutzfeldt-Jabob disease, a rapidly progressive dementia related to "mad cow disease." My research has shown that a tiny wall-less bacterium is involved in the pathogenesis of CJD and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSE.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I plan, in collaboration with colleagues in the LSU AgCenter, to produce a vaccine for control of TSEs and a diagnostic test based upon the presence of the bacterium to determine the epidemiology of the TSEs.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I am impressed with the possibilities for research using ruminants since these models are ideal since these animals manifest these diseases, ie., scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting disease in deer. My laboratory is on the LSU campus is an enjoyable place to work. The LSU Vet School on campus is top-notch and is a rich source of collaboration.
What are your major accomplishments?Since coming to LSU AgCenter, I have, in association with colleagues at LSU, created a model of TSE in ruminants. Spiroplasma produce neurodegeneration and spongiform encephalopathy in deer and sheep that simulate naturally occurring TSE in these animals.