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Microbiologist Manning Named MSU Foundation Professor

Shannon Manning

Michigan State University (MSU) professor of microbiology and molecular genetics Shannon Manning has been named an MSU Foundation Professor. She is also an AgBioResearch scientist.

“This award recognizes Professor Manning’s exceptional contributions to global human health by advancing our understanding of the pathogens that threaten it,” said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. “MSU Foundation Professorships demonstrate the university’s commitment to recognize and reward researchers who are making world-class contributions to their field.”

The title is bestowed by MSU, with support from the MSU Foundation. Manning will receive supplemental research support over five years and hold the MSU Foundation Professor designation permanently.

“Shannon’s research focuses on applying molecular and evolutionary approaches to study the virulence, epidemiology, and evolution of bacterial pathogens, such as E.coli,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, dean of the College of Natural Science. “As a result of her work, we now have a better understanding of the pathogenesis, emergence, and transmission of pathogens in human and animal populations.”

According to Stephen Hsu, vice president for Research and Graduate Studies, Manning’s work has had a significant impact on improving and saving human lives. “One example of the importance of Shannon’s work is her breakthrough studies of the E. coli pathogen that emerged in Germany in 2011. The outbreak caused about 3,500 cases of illness and 54 deaths – the deadliest E. coli outbreak to date.”

Manning, who joined MSU in 2004, said “Determining which bacterial features are most important for disease will help identify ways to block them via vaccines or therapeutics,” she said. “It is my hope that some of my research findings will impact future prevention practices and ultimately reduce the number of people affected by these bacterial infections.”

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