New Poultry Science Faculty Member Focuses on Intestinal Health Research

Danielle Graham joined the Department of Poultry Science as an assistant professor on July 1.
Jessica Wesson

Danielle Graham joined the Department of Poultry Science as an assistant professor on July 1.

Intestinal health is a major concern in the poultry industry to mitigate disease and avoid drug resistance.

Danielle Graham joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and the Department of Poultry Science as an assistant professor on July 1, and her research will focus on poultry intestinal health.

"There is an urgent need for research to identify methods to prevent disease and improve poultry intestinal health and welfare," Graham said. "My long-term research goal is to utilize the knowledge base and established direct challenge or horizontal (lateral) transmission models, with a primary focus on parasitic diseases, to investigate commercially applicable tools to enhance immunological protection and reduce pathogen transmission and invasion."

Graham will be conducting research for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the U of A System Division of Agriculture. Her expertise is in poultry parasitology.

"I will be working to optimize intestinal health to prevent [intestinal] disease, with a particular emphasis on parasitic diseases affecting commercial poultry," Graham said. "In the classroom and the lab, I plan to incorporate industry perspectives and new research findings that are pertinent to the project and/or course."

"Our faculty-led research programs in the areas of intestinal and gut health have been highly productive through the years, and they are valued by our colleagues in the commercial industry," said David Caldwell, Poultry Science Department head and director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. "We fully expect Dr. Graham's program will allow us to further extend our existing programs and allow us to increase our relevance in this important field for our industry stakeholders."

Graham is not new to the U of A. She received her bachelor's degree in animal science in 2015, her master's degree in poultry science in 2018 and her Ph.D. in poultry science in 2021 — all from the U of A.

"I am thrilled to join the Poultry Science Department faculty," Graham said. "Not only is this my dream job, but it is at an institution that I hold near and dear to my heart. I am excited about new opportunities for collaboration, mentoring and teaching students, and pursuing industry-applicable research related to poultry intestinal health and parasitology."

Graham will start conducting in vitro and/or in vivo studies with various parasites including Histomonas meleagridis and Eimeria spp.

"We plan to broaden our molecular toolbox to identify genetic polymorphisms related to drug resistance in Eimeria spp.," Graham said.

Graham worked as a program associate for the U of A System Division of Agriculture from August 2018 to June 2022. She helped with research, managing/mentoring students and technicians, as well as administrative duties. She currently serves as the president of the Southern Conference of Avian Diseases and is a member of the World Poultry Science Association and the Poultry Science Association.

Starting in the fall, Graham will also teach classes through the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

"In addition to her contributions to our research mission, we are also expecting Danielle to make impactful contributions to our teaching and outreach programs here in the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. We are thrilled to have her on board," Caldwell said.

To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: aaes.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch.

For information about the Cooperative Extension Service, visit /www.uaex.uada.edu and follow us on Twitter at @AR_Extension.

To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

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