Mohamed Seleem Ph.D. '06, the Tyler J. and Frances F. Young Chair in Bacteriology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named director of the Center for One Health Research.

The Center for One Health Research (COHR) is a collaboration between the veterinary college and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, both of which have interest in cooperative research and scholarship related to infectious diseases.  

Both colleges follow the One Health philosophy — the concept that animal health, human health, and the environment are closely linked, requiring professionals in these fields to collaborate to improve overall health.

Ansar Ahmed, professor of immunology and associate dean of research and graduate studies at the college, said, "I am delighted to appoint Seleem as the new director of COHR with his leadership, reputation and scientific gravitas. His plans to further build on the notable scientific and translational history of COHR (previously known as the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases), including vaccines and laboratory test development, I am confident will advance COHR to a higher national and international recognition in bacterial infectious diseases and One Health."

Seleem’s world-renowned research program focuses on developing new antimicrobials and improving delivery of drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases. Research in the Seleem Lab is highly collaborative and multidisciplinary, integrating bacteriology, mycology, molecular pathogenesis, pharmacology, and more.  

Seleem works with animal models of disease with the potential for translational research.  

“Even though I’m a veterinarian, all the microorganisms I work with affect humans,” said Seleem. “You cannot really understand the impact of these diseases without understanding the impact that’s happened in humanity, in animals, and the environment.”  

During his time as director, Seleem plans to develop bacteriology and infectious disease as the center's focus. Specializing and hiring more faculty in these fields will allow researchers to collaborate more and be more competitive when applying for funding.  

Seleem’s goal is to further build a community with graduate students and researchers. Since they share lab space and equipment, interaction already exists between the veterinary college and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty and students, and Seleem wishes to increase collaboration between the two colleges.  

The veterinary college "has a really special place in my heart — I graduated from here, I witnessed a lot of great discoveries here, so I would really like to take this further and help this place further,” said Seleem.  

After earning his associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in veterinary science from Assiut University in Assiut, Egypt, Seleem earned his Ph.D. in microbiology and biotechnology from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. He held postdoctoral research positions at Cornell University and at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech, and he taught and conducted research at Purdue University for nine years before joining the veterinary college faculty in 2020.

Written by Sarah Boudreau

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