Professor Roman R. Ganta, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Director, Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases; Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology; College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University
Time: Tuesday 29th August, 11:00am
Venues: Cairns - A001-015 video linked to Townsville - 048-204
Ehrlichia chaffeensis Mutagenesis: Pathogenesis and Vaccine Development
Obligate intracellular bacteria (obligates) belonging to the order Rickettsiales (mostly transmitted by ticks) are responsible for causing diseases in people worldwide and also account for many diseases in agricultural and companion animals. Lack of an efficient system for targeted mutagenesis in obligates remains a major impediment in understanding microbial pathogenesis and in defining the functional significance of many genes. Challenges in creating targeted mutations may be attributed to the essential nature of genes selected for mutagenesis, intracellular replication dependence and the lack of methods to support extracellular growth. I will share our most recent data in developing mutagenesis methods in Ehrlichia chaffeensis, the causal agent of human monocytic ehrlichiosis, which also infects dogs and several other vertebrate hosts. Applications of mutagenesis in understanding the pathogenesis and vaccine development will also be discussed.
Biography: Roman Ganta, PhD, Professor and Director, Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases (http://www.vet.k-state.edu/research/cevbd/), Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA: Dr. Ganta is a biochemist and molecular microbiologist with a special research emphasis on vector-borne bacterial and parasitic diseases. His research since 1990 is focused on investigating important vector-borne diseases, most notably rickettsial diseases, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis, caused by ticks.