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NIAMRRE Announces Prominent Researchers Begin Terms as 2021-2022 Advisory Council Leadership

By Erica Baker posted 07-01-2021 11:00 PM


The National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE)—an organization created in response to the 2015 U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR)—today announced the appointment of Daniel Czyz, PhD from the University of Florida as chair and Thomas E. Wittum, PhD from The Ohio State University as vice chair of the 2021-2020 NIAMRRE Advisory Council.

In his role as chair, Czyz provides leadership to the Advisory Council and works closely with the NIAMRRE Operations Center. As vice chair, Wittum supports the chair in overseeing council activities and promoting active engagement among committee members. Both scientists are starting their second year as members of the Advisory Council, with Czyz serving as vice chair from 2020-2021.

“We are thrilled to work closely with Dr. Czyz and Dr. Wittum as they assume leadership roles on the Advisory Council,” said Paul Plummer, executive director of NIAMRRE. “As a national institute providing solutions to the global health challenge of AMR, coordinating ideas is essential to improve the health and well-being of all Americans across the One Health spectrum—this team will bring diverse expertise and insight to these efforts.”

Dr. Daniel Czyz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida (UF). He received his PhD from Northwestern University, where he studied the regulation of the heat shock response using Caenorhabditis elegans. During his postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Chicago, he worked on host-targeting approaches against bacterial infections. Currently, at UF, Dr. Czyz developed and teaches a course on AMR to undergraduate and graduate students. His research group utilizes various non-traditional approaches to battle AMR, including drug repurposing, bacteriophages, and targeting the host to enhance the ability of phagocytic cells to scavenge and kill bacteria. The Czyz Lab also utilizes C. elegans and tissue culture models to study the effect of bacteria on protein conformational diseases (PCDs). Antibiotics are the major contributor to AMR and gut dysbiosis, which is implicated in the pathogenesis of PCDs; therefore, these two research areas nicely complement each other. Dr. Czyz is excited to be part of the solution against AMR.

Dr. Thomas Wittum is Professor of Epidemiology and Chair of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University College (OSU) of Veterinary Medicine. He also has a faculty appointment in the OSU College of Public Health where he is one of the leaders of the Veterinary Public Health specialization within the Master of Public Health degree program. Dr. Wittum’s expertise is in infectious disease epidemiology, and he teaches a variety of topics related to epidemiology, public health, and zoonotic infectious diseases in both the professional Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and the graduate curricula at OSU. Dr. Wittum has a strong interest in antimicrobial resistance and in developing effective antibiotic stewardship programs that can be applied in veterinary medicine. He maintains an extensive research program investigating the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans, animals, and the environment. He is the co-director of the antimicrobial resistance thematic program within the OSU Infectious Diseases Institute which has been recognized as an International Reference Center for AMR but the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Dr. Wittum has been recognized by The Ohio State University with the title of University Distinguished Scholar.

Rodney A. Moxley, DVM, PhD of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln now moves into the role of past chair, where he will provide continued communication within the Advisory Committee and serve as chair and host of the 2022 NIAMRRE annual conference. Under Dr. Moxley’s direction, the Advisory Council set the foundation to create two new working groups (AMR One Health Learning Objectives and AMR Dashboard), formed an exploratory group around interprofessional education as a learning method for AMR, and provided leadership planning for the inaugural NIAMRRE Annual Conference—which welcomed more than 200 registrants from 30 states and more than 50 organizations.

The council provides input and advice on the institute’s strategic planning, serves as the primary liaison between member organizations and the NIAMRRE Operations Center, and provides subject matter expertise necessary to drive the efforts of the NIAMRRE mission.

In addition to the chair and vice chair, the NIAMRRE Advisory Council includes the following members:

  • Christopher Belnap, Resilient Biotics
  • Chris Bomgaars, EveryPig
  • Paula Cray, North Carolina State University
  • Robert Donofrio, NEOGEN Corporation
  • Jennifer Filbey, Mazen Animal Health Inc
  • Luis G. Gimenez-Lirola, Innoceleris LLC
  • Lois Hoyer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Jessica Hyland, Iowa Biotechnology Association
  • Martha King, Farm Foundation
  • Michelle Krom, Hormel Foods Corporation
  • Terry Lehenbauer, University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Joel Lennon-Meyer, Sublime Stericeuticals
  • Catherine Logue, University of Georgia
  • Beth A. Montelone, Kansas State University
  • Rob Owen, Bio Nebraska
  • Michael Pentella, State Hygienic Laboratory, University of Iowa
  • Christine Petersen, University of Iowa
  • James M. Reecy, Iowa State University
  • Juliana M. Ruzante, RTI International
  • Howard Urnovitz, FBB Biomed
  • Justin Van Wert, Distynct

The chair and vice chair began their term on July 1, 2021. For more information about NIAMRRE’s members, visit