WSU veterinarian elected to Institute of Medicine

WSU veterinarian elected to Institute of Medicine

Oct 17, 2006
By staff

PULLMAN, WA - 10/17/06 - Dr. Guy Palmer, a veterinary pathologist at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, was elected to the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM). The institute announced the election of its new members Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C.

"I have been aware of Dr. Palmer's outstanding research for many years." said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins, "It seems especially appropriate that he is being recognized at a time when concerns about epidemics of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans) are higher than I ever remember seeing before. Guy is a world leader in his field and we rejoice to see him gain this richly deserved honor."

His research has explored what allows some pathogens to persist in a host long after the initial infection; what interactions between a pathogen and its vector lead to efficient transmission and infection; and novel ways of producing vaccines to combat pathogens whose changeable nature makes them "moving targets" for a host's immune system.

In recent years, Palmer focused primarily on the infection biology of Anaplasma marginale, which is the most prevalent tick-borne bacterial pathogen of cattle worldwide. Once injected into the host by a biting tick, the Anaplasma bacteria enter and destroy red blood cells, causing an often-fatal disease, anaplasmosis. Animals that recover from the disease remain infected throughout life, acting as a reservoir of the pathogen within a herd. The disease causes millions of dollars of losses to owners of cattle herds, particularly in tropical regions but also in the U.S. and Canada.

Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health. With their election, members make a commitment to devote a significant amount of volunteer time as members of IOM study committees.