Featured Profile: George Stewart
A medical bacteriologist, Stewart studies bacteria that cause disease in animals and humans, focusing primarily on the deadly pathogen anthrax. The disease may be cured by antibiotics if diagnosed early, but it often goes undetected until it is too late to treat. Stewart has discovered a new method for identifying anthrax in hours instead of days. In addition, Stewart has exposed an opportunity to fight the bacteria. Anthrax has a tough, nearly indestructible coating, which allows it to lie in wait for years. Stewart’s research uncovered the bacteria’s method of building its tough exterior shell – a critical step toward attacking the bacteria.
Stewart has also made important strides in understanding a staph-related microbe that causes skin infections in dogs. His lab has also studied how a toxin that causes foot rot in cattle and is an infectious agent in humans functions, which could lead to future treatments. Additionally, he collaborated with researchers in MU’s Center for Agroforestry to identify a compound in red cedar trees that could be used to treat the life-threatening MRSA bacteria.
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One Health/One Medicine