Bhussry Seminar Series: “Physician-Scientists Should be More Like Campylobacter jejuni”
Speaker: Jose A. Rodrigues, PhD
Michigan State University
Talk Title: “Physician-Scientists Should be More Like Campylobacter jejuni”
Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni, the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in the United States, is often resistant to commonly used antibiotics and has been classified as a serious threat to public health. Through Dr. Rodrigues’ dissertation work, he sought to evaluate infection trends, quantify resistance frequencies, identify epidemiological factors associated with infection, and used whole-genome sequencing as well as comparative phylogenomic and pangenomic approaches to understand circulating C. jejuni populations in Michigan. As a physician-scientist trainee, Rodrigues also led the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA), the national trainee organization for physician-scientists in the country. As part of his role through this organization Rodrigues sought to use a “citizen participation” framework to generate programming to support the diversification of the physician-scientist workforce. These efforts will hopefully lead to a diverse and resilient population of physician-scientists, much like the genetically diverse bacterial populations of pathogens, such as C. jejuni.