Poultry Mucosal Pathogens including Eimeria and Clostridium cause economically important intestinal diseases and there is a timely need to better understand basic immunobiology to develop innovative control strategies. Vision: Create the world renowned research program on avian genomics and immunology at ARS that will be internationally recognized for providing innovative solutions for the progressive control and eradication of priority mucosal pathogens. STRATEGIC GOALS: 1). Provide scientific information to protect the poultry industry from priority mucosal pathogens, 2). Develop and transfer tools to the poultry industry, commercial partners, and government agencies to control and eradicate mucosal pathogens that pose a threat to agriculture and public health. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES: 1). Become a leader the following research areas: 1) disease resistance; 2) host-pathogen interactions; 3) innovative intervention strategies; 4) avian immunology and functional genomics, 2). Develop immunological reagents and genome-enabled technologies to achieve Objective 1, 3) Form strategic partnerships with the poultry industry to ensure our research program is relevant, 4) Train future scientists to successfully face the challenges of the 21st century
Accomplishments: Made many first time discoveries which have been transferred to private industry in the following areas: 1) alternative to antibiotics strategies to mitigate the use of drugs in poultry production using dietary probiotics, phytonutrients and hyperimmune egg yolk antibodies, 2) critical poultry immune reagents for assaying host immune response to diseases and vaccines, 3) established an internationally renowned research in the areas of disease resistance, host-pathogen Interactions, antibiotic-free disease intervention strategies, avian immunology and functional genomics by developing immunology- and genomics-empowered technologies, formation of alliance with poultry industry, networking with multidisplinary groups of scientists at ARS and academia, and by training future scientists to successfully face the challenges of the 21st century.