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Stephen Michael Boyle
Vice-President for Research

Professor of Microbiology
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
Voice: (540) 231-0300

Bachelor of Arts, Natural Sciences, Rutgers University, New Jersey, 1966
Master of Science, Bacteriology, University of Rhode Island, 1969
Doctor of Philosophy, Bacteriology, University of Rhode Island, 1971

Dr. Boyle is a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Professor Boyle, whose principal research interests are microbial virulence mechanisms and the application of recombinant DNA technology to vaccine development, has authored numerous papers in the areas of microbial gene regulation.

Dr. Boyle began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Biomedical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland. While there he taught medical students in lecture and laboratory formats about the mechanisms by which microorganisms act as pathogens. In addition, he also taught molecular biology and its applications to the study of diseases to both medical and graduate students. His research was funded by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Medical Research Council of Canada to investiage the mechanisms by which bacteria regulate gene expression.

After being promoted to Associate Professor of Microbiology, he took a similar position with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. He was recruited to help introduce molecular biology into the research program within the college and is one of the founding members of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases. This research focus unit comprises 12 faculty, 6 laboratory specialists and over a dozen graduate students in 40,000 sq. feet of space stocked with the latest models of equipment allowing the analyses of infectious agents. Dr. Boyle served as the coordinator of this center for 3 years and was responsible for evaluation of the technical staff and their distribution, maintenance of equipment and facilities, including an unattached 3000 sq. ft. Biosafety Level 3 facility.

In the veterinary curriculum, he helps team teach second year students about bacterial and mycotic agents using both a lecture and laboratory format. He also teaches in undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and the applications of recombinant DNA technology to vaccine development. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense and is currently focusing on the improvement of the Brucella vaccine strain RB51 and the use of microarrays to investigate host pathogen interactions. He has supervised numerous masters and doctoral candidates in their graduate programs during his academic tenure at both universities.

His specific research skills and forte include gene expression, cloning and DNA sequencing; enzyme purification and activity assessment, creation of bacterial mutants using recombinant technology, production of bacterial vaccine strains and transgenic plants expressing viral proteins (oral vaccines). He was responsible for directing Veterinary Technologies' resources in acquiring with Crop Tech Development Corporation (Blacksburg, VA) both a Phase 1 and Phase 2 Small Business Innovative Research grant to determine whether transgenic plants (corn and tomato) can be used to deliver protective antigens against anthrax and plague. He has overall responsibility for the management of Phase I SBIR awarded to the company for the development of strain RB51 as a vaccine platform delivery system against diseases other than brucellosis.

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