Professor Jean Celli, students recognized for research advancements

Second-year veterinary student Cordelia Leeder presents her research Wednesday afternoon at the 22nd annual College of Veterinary Medicine Research Symposium.

Professor Jean Celli of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health is the recipient of the Zoetis Animal Health Award for Research Excellence.

Since 1985, high-profile research faculty in the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine have been recognized with the annual honor for their advancements in the veterinary field.

Celli received the honor Wednesday afternoon at the College of Veterinary Medicine Research Symposium.

“As a scientist, it’s critical your peers recognize the importance of your work,” Celli said. “This award means a lot to me. It reassures me that my efforts in science have been recognized and appreciated in my field of research.”

Since joining WSU and the Allen School in 2013, Celli’s research program has been focused on deciphering the virulence and pathogenic mechanisms employed by Brucella abortus, the causative agent of Brucellosis.

Celli’s latest finding characterized a protein that appears to reorganize a pathway believed to provide nutrients required for the bacteria to grow inside the host cell.

The protein is the second of some 12 bacterial proteins discovered in the Celli lab. 

In addition to Celli’s honor, awards were distributed to student researchers from five categories: undergraduate student, graduate student, postdoctoral researcher, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student/intern, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine resident.

Out of all undergraduate researchers, Maho Kasu was recognized for her work. Elizabeth Borghesan, advised by Celli, was recognized out of the graduate students. Hala Elsayed topped the post-doctoral researchers’ category. Margo Coxon received the research award out of the veterinary student/intern pool, and Rachel Soltys led the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine resident category.

Assistant Professor Ryan Driskell was the recipient of the Dean’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Research Award.

Associate Professor Craig McConnel was presented the Boehringer Ingelheim Award for Mentorship in Veterinary Medicine.

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