Blogs

The February Member Spotlight featured new faces on the NIAMRRE staff and a preview of what's to come in 2023. Though Dr. Paul Plummer could not join the rest of the staff, each team member took a moment to introduce themselves and highlight what they are most excited about in 2024. In the last six months, NIAMRRE has welcomed two new faces to the team. Hadley joined the team in September as the Communications Specialist. He has an extensive background in graphic design and marketing. Niki joined the team in November as the Member Development Specialist and has a marketing, strategy, and organizational leadership background. Dr. Kris Johansen, ...
The 2023 NIAMRRE Annual Conference was the first time we had lightning talks during the event. These brief, high level presentations were a really fun way to get a taste of the work our members are doing. We heard about everything from antimicrobial stewardship in companion animals to alternatives to antimicrobial treatments in livestock to infections in wildlife. We also heard about One Health antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programs and communication to rapid, point-of-care diagnostics to genome analysis to better understand AMR. Based on the success of last year’s lightning talks, this year’s conference planning committee decided to have not one, ...
We recently got a glimpse into the critical work of professionals shaping the landscape of human healthcare. During the December Member Spotlight on the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, Dr. Krista Jens, the System Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Manager at Alina Health and the PGY2 ID Residency Program Director at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, dove into the realm of infectious diseases pharmacists – an indispensable role to the healthcare ecosystem. Unseen Guardians: Infectious Diseases Pharmacists Dr. Jens shines a light on the often-misunderstood role of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (IDPs). Board-certified in pharmacotherapy ...
After a very mild start to the winter, the staff here at the NIAMRRE Operations Center have been experiencing extreme winter weather: nearly two feet of snow in the past 10 days, blizzard conditions, and extreme windchills due to actual air temperatures falling to -20 ◦ F. As the snow piles up, so do stories of kindness and commitment—neighbors digging out neighbors, rescued animals, the doctor who braved the brutal conditions on his ATV to reach the rural hospital where he works in time to help deliver a patient’s baby. But just like our paths to our garages, barns and sidewalks are narrowing due to ever-growing piles of snow, so too will our options ...
Here’s to another year… By Paul Plummer Well, it seems like just yesterday I was writing a note to all of you reflecting on 2022, and now here we are looking back on 2023. It has been another productive and busy year. Although there is far more we could highlight, I wanted to share a few high points that we have collectively achieved over the last year. This winter, the operation center worked with six NIAMRRE members who expressed interest in pursuing a series of collaborative proposals for the USDA APHIS Antimicrobial Resistance Dashboard. We supported these projects by assisting with organizational calls, clearly defining proposal scopes ...
NIAMRRE welcomed Dr. John Barlow, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont, for the November Member Spotlight. Dr. Barlow’s excellent talk, “AMR on small to medium sized dairy farms in Vermont: is it relevant?” provided insights to the work conducted in his laboratory, which is aimed at helping to support organic dairy farmers in the state, as well as artisanal cheese-making farmers. Dr. Barlow’s group’s work uses a One Health approach and includes food safety, milk quality, and mastitis on farms making farmstead cheese and artisan cheese, antibiotic ...
On Monday this week, I attended the Bacterial and Viral Bioinformatics Workshop at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. In addition to NIAMRRE , this workshop was co-hosted by Iowa State University's Office of the Vice President for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Life Science, ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine Association of Graduate Students . I arrived at Reiman Gardens early to explore the lush green spaces and to get a feel for the venue. The workshop couldn't have asked for a better setting. One of the walls of the conference room was a window that provided a widescreen ...
NIAMRRE welcomed presenters Dr. Casey Bradley, President of the Sunswine Group, and Dr. Liliana Nolasco, Senior Data Analytics Strategist, for its October Member Spotlight. The Sunswine Group, which was founded in the spring of 2020, offers innovative products and services for the animal agriculture industry, including research and development, technical writing, technical sales, data analytics, nutritional consulting, premixes and retail products, as well as professional development for animal scientists and others in the animal agriculture sector through short courses, corporate training, and one-on-one coaching. Dr. Nolasco provided an excellent overview ...
On September 28th and 29th, Riassa and I woke up early in order to virtually attend the AMR Insights International Masterclass hosted out of Amsterdam by Maarten Van Dongen. During the class, I had two major takeaways about the the larger AMR community. First that there was a high engagement from the more than one hundred attendants from around the globe. At the beginning of each day, the Masterclass participants proudly chimed into the chat box with their locations and affiliations. Beyond introductions, each presenter stayed online after their lecture to respond to the bevy of questions enthusiastically posed by participants. The generative discourse throughout ...
We are excited to announce that the 3rd Annual One Health AMR Interprofessional Education (IPE) Cohort applications have been opened! This virtual program seeks representation from all the One Health Sectors and individuals at various career stages. Individuals should be active in the human, animal, environment, or plant sectors and want to learn more about working together to combat antimicrobial resistance. Participants in the cohort can gain awareness and knowledge about interprofessional education and practice, enhance and diversify their professional networks, and contribute to addressing a critical One Health gap. The last two cohorts have brought individuals ...
When did you first become aware of the One Health framework? For me, it was a meeting on the Iowa State University campus back in the "aughts" that brought together campus leaders, researchers and other stakeholder from across the university. It was a really novel concept to me at the time, but I was in a different role and really didn't think that much about One Health or try to apply it in my work until joining NIAMRRE years later in 2020. And while the term "One Health" was first used in 2003-2004 1 , the concept dates back to the 19th century when Dr. Rudolf Virchow recognized the link between human and animal health while studying Trichinella spiralis ...
Last week we were treated to an excellent Member Spotlight presentation by Dr. Gil Patterson, Chief Medical Officer for Food Animal Services at VetNOW. VetNOW is a medical technology company that helps veterinarians expand their reach and provide better service. Here are six key takeaways I learned during the presentation: VetNOW started as a telemedicine company but is migrating into the medical technology space by incorporating new technologies, such as sensors, and databases and integrating them to provide more tools to the veterinarian. A variety of factors, such as a shortage of veterinarians, industry demands for increased levels of expertise, ...
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 20 years since Eric Lax’s book, The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat , was published. For those who haven’t yet read it, The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat is a highly entertaining portrayal of the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming, and the heroic efforts by Howard Florey, Norman Heatley, and Ernst Chain to translate that discovery into practical use as a β-lactam antibiotic. While Fleming did isolate a mold that he happened to observe on a Petri dish, and did some subsequent work showing the mold suppressed Staphyloccal growth and that an extract of culture broth suppressed bacteria from a sinus infection, he ...

Turning the Page

I have written many iterations of this post and none of them have felt quite right. How do I turn the page on a chapter of my life that has been so impactful? The last five years with NIAMRRE have been amazing, challenging, and incredibly rewarding. I have been given many opportunities to grow and learn new skills. When I was hired as the administrative assistant back in December 2018, I was NIAMRRE’s second employee. As we built NIAMRRE’s foundation and it began to grow, my job morphed and grew right along with it. I have seen the opportunities and taken them to learn new skills: website editing, HTML coding, email marketing, managing social media, and ...
The beginning of July marked the end of an era in NIAMRRE’s history, as University of Nebraska-Lincoln Charles Bessey Professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Rod Moxley, stepped away from his role as a member of NIAMRRE’s Advisory Council in anticipation of his upcoming retirement. Here in the NIAMRRE Operations Center, we wanted to take a few moments to express our gratitude for Rod’s contributions to the Institute; as many may already know, Rod was an early champion of NIAMRRE and part of the team that submitted the proposal that was ultimately selected for launching NIAMRRE. Rod also served as the first chair of the ...
Each NIAMRRE member organization appoints an advisor to serve on our Advisory Council. This 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. July 1 marked the start of the third year of the Advisory Council, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the advisors who served in 2022-2023, thank our previous council chairs, and welcome our new chair and vice chair. I cannot thank our advisors from the last year enough for all their advice, ...
The National Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education is proud to announce our Executive Director, Dr. Paul Plummer, was appointed as the new Council Chair for the US Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance Bacteria. The appointment was announced at the 23 rd PACCARB public meeting on Thursday, March 23 in Arlington, VA. “I am humbled and honored to be appointed as the new Council Chair for PACCARB,”Dr. Paul Plummer said. “ Dr. Martin Blaser (retiring chair), Dr. Lonnie King (past co-chair) and Dr. Michael Apley (retiring co-chair) have led PACCARB well over the last seven years and I pledge to do my best to ...
AMES, IOWA (February 13, 2023) – The National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE) seeks nominations for the NIAMRRE Leadership Council. The NIAMRRE Leadership Council is a group of individuals that function in an advisory capacity to the NIAMRRE Executive Director and Operations Center. This group differs from the NIAMRRE Advisory Council in that they may work externally from member institutions, providing review of administrative and fiduciary accountability, and applying a high level national and global perspective to NIAMRRE strategies and program prioritization. The Leadership Council meets virtually on a quarterly basis, ...
Yesterday NIAMRRE kicked off the second cohort of our One Health Interprofessional AMR Education Program. Over the next four months, the cohort will participate in a variety of asynchronous activities that are being hosted on NIAMRRE’s Learning Center and attend synchronous sessions via Zoom. The cohort of 30 individuals is a diverse mix of practitioners, scientists, faculty, and students representing industry, academia, and government, that covers all One Health disciplines (human, animal, plant, and environmental health) from across North America. After a very successful first cohort, we were very encouraged by the number and breadth of applications we ...
NIAMRRE kicked off 2023 with an Operations Center Roundtable for the January Member Spotlight. Taking a bit of a different format, we utilized a zoom meeting which allow for more interaction between the audience and the NIAMRRE staff. As part of the roundtable, we shared highlights from 2022. Some highlights included: 2022 Annual Conference: our first in person conference was hosted by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, May 16-18 and was attended by 87 people from across academia, industry, and government. Interprofessional Education (IPE): we launched our inaugural cohort of One Health AMR IPE at the conference. The cohort continued to work within ...