112: A Career in Salmonella with Stanley Maloy

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By American Society for Microbiology and Julie Wolf. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Stanley Maloy discusses his career in Salmonella research, which started with developing molecular tools and is now focused on the role of Salmonella genome plasticity in niche development. He further talks about his role in science entrepreneurship, science education, and working with an international research community.

Julie’s Biggest Takeaways:

Stanley’s career began when transposon mutagenesis was a new, cutting-edge technique, and he found the best way to learn how to apply a new method was to jump in and try it.

Antibiotic resistance has been a problem throughout Stanley’s career. The future may hold new antimicrobials that aren’t necessarily categorized as classical ‘antibiotics,’ but may offer precision therapy against specific infectious agents. Whatever the future holds, it won’t be a single answer: Stanley sees many innovations necessary to deal with the future of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Stanley’s current research is in Salmonella genome plasticity and how genomic traits influence the bacterial niche. Where do traits like exotoxins or antibiotic resistance exist in the environment, and how are they transferred to new species to influence disease? Cases of Typhoid Fever in people without known exposure to another diseased person suggest there may be an environmental reservoir. What might it be?

Stanley is a big proponent of scientist entrepreneurs and participates with the NSF Innovation Corps to promote early science start ups. In addition to creativity and the scientific process, one characteristic he encourages all entrepreneurs to develop is a good team spirit. Working collaboratively as a team is a very strong sign of success.

Stanley believes in the importance of an international science communities, and he practices what he preaches: he works closely with the scientific community of Chile. He began in 1990 by teaching an intensive lab course about techniques, and has developed a decades-long relationship with this community. These relationships allow a dialog, and were the reason Stanley ultimately turned his focus to Salmonella Typhi from Salmonella Typhimurium.

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