Full Name
Brian Oakley
Job Title
Western University of Health Sciences
Speaker Bio
Dr. Oakley is a microbial ecologist who has worked on nitrogen-fixing plant symbionts, suboxic marine microbes, and human and animal-associated microbiomes. The common theme of Dr. Oakley’s work is to identify the important players in an ecosysystem and to characterize their contributions to the health of that system. Dr. Oakley’s graduate training and post-doctoral work combined classical and molecular microbiology working on environmental and human microbiomes at the University of Washington Microbiology Department, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the University of Warwick in the U.K. Prior to joining the faculty of Western University of Health Sciences, his lab at the USDA Agricultural Research Service focused on the poultry-associated microbiome with publications of a farm-to-fork census of poultry-associated microbial communities, validation of specific and sensitive assays for Campylobacter, and the first sequencing-based documentation of the taxonomic composition of healthy GI communities in commercial broiler chickens.

Dr. Oakley’s current research remains focused on animal-associated microbiomes and their relationships to food safety and infectious disease. Current One-Health related projects have identified several emerging human pathogens associated with wildlife vectors. The major contribution of this work to date has been the design and validation of new diagnostic assays for these pathogens.

The standard toolkit in Dr. Oakley’s lab combines classical microbiology, microscopy, quantitative PCR, high-throughput amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, genomics, and associated bioinformatics. Dr. Oakley’s research is funded through several extramural grants, industry partnerships, and WesternU support for M.S. and DVM students, interns, and post-docs.
Brian Oakley