Lisa K. Nolan, DVM, MS, PhD

AVMA Members Working to Advance Animal and Human Health through Research

Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lisa K. NolanEducational Background

I have a DVM, UGA 1988; MS, UGA 1991; and PhD, UGA 1992. The MS and PhD are both in Medical Microbiology. Currently, I am a professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine and the Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Do you have any pets?

A chocolate point Siamese.

What is the focus of your research?

We study the mechanisms by which Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli cause disease in animals and people. ExPEC are important causes of UTI, sepsis and neonatal meningitis in human beings and avian colibacillosis, manifesting as septicemia, airsacculitis, cellulitis, salpingitis and peritonitis in poultry.

Histopathology of rat brain tissue

(A) Histopathology of rat brain tissue 24 h postinoculation with Avian Pathogenic
E. coli strain (APEC) 353, the rod-shaped bacteria at the arrow, in the meninges.
(B) Histopathology of rat brain tissue 24 h postinoculation with human neonatal
meningitis E. coli strain (NMEC) 58 with rod-shaped bacteria in the meninges (arrows).

What is the scientific and clinical significance of your research?

ExPEC cause very important causes of disease of both humans and animals. These diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality around the world. Thus, better understanding of how they cause disease and resist therapy and disinfection could leave to improved control of these diseases to the benefit of human and animal health worldwide.

What do you find most enjoyable about research?

The thrill of discovery…coming into the lab each day is like being the first to walk on the moon...will the moon be green cheese, will I fall into a cloud of dust, will there be remnants of past people? So thrilling!

What advice do you have for veterinarians considering a career in biomedical research?

Find someone who is active in research...publishing papers and surrounded by apprentice a summer project with them. Start small with a discrete project all your own. Learn the scientific method and find out if a research career fits.

See how other AVMA members are advancing animal and human health