Thomas J Inzana, PhD, (D) ABMM, (D) ACVMH, (F) AAM.

Professor and Associate Dean for Research


Dr. Inzana earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia, his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine, and was a post-doctoral fellow in clinical microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine. He was an assistant professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine before joining the faculty at Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine, and then Long Island University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Inzana is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a Fellow and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology, an honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiology, has received the Pfizer and Beecham awards for research excellence, and has served as a reviewer for multiple USDA and NIH grant review panels.

Dr. Inzana has been section head of the clinical microbiology laboratory for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital for 31 years, and was director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases in the college for almost five years. He held an endowed chair from 2003 to 2018, was Associate Vice-President for Research Programs from 2006-2010, and was the University Research Integrity Officer from 2006 to 2018.

Dr. Inzana has 119 published peer-reviewed manuscripts published, 24 published book chapters, 7 edited books, and three patents for vaccines against swine pleuropneumonia and encapsulated, toxigenic bacteria.

Dr. Inzana has received consistent competitive funding from USDA for 35 years, and has also received competitive funding from NIH, the Department of Defense, and industry.

Dr. Inzana’s ongoing research currently focuses on biofilm formation by bovine respiratory disease pathogens, particularly Histophilus somni, but also Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia haemolytica.This work includes the study of exopolysaccharide production, polymicrobial infections in bovine respiratory disease, and regulation of genes responsible for bacterial virulence factors. The laboratory work includes examination of the interaction between H. somni and P. multocida during biofilm formation and the host response to infection, and RNA-sequencing of genes that are differentially regulated during expression of biofilm and other virulence components. Gene regulation is focused on identification of sRNA and Hfq in H. somni and the genes/virulence factors they control. Work on P. multocida and M. haemolytica involves understanding the inverse, but inter-relationship between capsule production, exopolysaccharide production and biofilm formation. Studies on the biochemical and genetic characterization of a capsule-like complex (CLC) from Francisella tularensis has recently been completed, but work on understanding biofilm formation by F. tularensis and the production of biofilm in the tick vector is continuing.

Publications - (selected manuscripts)

Textbooks, Chapters, Monographs, and Documents

  • Sandal, I., L.B. Corbeil, and T.J. Inzana. 2010. Haemophilus. In: C. Gyles, J. Prescott, G. Songer, and C. Thoen, (Eds.). Pathogenesis of Bacterial Infections in Animals, 4th ed. pp. 387-409. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ.
  • Inzana, T.J., X-J Meng, T. Opriessnig, and L. Ballweber. 2016. Commercial Methods in Clinical Veterinary Microbiology. In: A. L. Truant (Ed.). Manual of Commercial Methods in Clinical Microbiology, 2nd edition. T.J. Inzana, Coordinating Author. Chapter 19, pp. 346-376. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ.
  • Inzana, T.J. (Ed.). 2016. Histophilus somni: Biology, Molecular Basis of Pathogenesis, and Host Immunity. Curr. Topics Microbiol. Immunol. Vol 396. Springer, London. ISBN 978-3-319-29554-1.
  • Petruzzi, B., and T.J. Inzana. 2016. Exopolysaccharide Production and Biofilm Formation by Histophilus somni. In: T.J. Inzana, (Ed.). 2016. Histophilus somni: Biology, 12 Molecular Basis of Pathogenesis, and Host Immunity. Curr. Topics Microbiol. Immunol,Vol 396. Springer, London. pp. 149-160.
  • Inzana, T.J. 2016. The Many Facets of Lipooligosaccharide as a Virulence Factor for Histophilus somni. In: T.J. Inzana, (Ed.). 2016. Histophilus somni: Biology, Molecular Basis of Pathogenesis, and Host Immunity. Curr. Topics Microbiol. Immunol,Vol. 396. Springer, London. pp. 131-148.

Journals: Peer-Reviewed (last 5 years only)

  • Bandara, A.B., Z. Zuo, S. Ramachandran, A. Ritter, J.R. Heflin, and T.J. Inzana*. 2015. Detection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococci by Biosensor Assay Consisting of Nanoscale Films on Optical Fiber Long-Period Gratings. Biosens. Bioelectron. 70:433-440.
  • Moustafa, D., J.M. Scarff, P.P. Garcia, S.K. B. Cassidy, A. DiGiandomenico, D.M. Waag, T.J. Inzana, and J.B. Goldberg*. 2015. Recombinant Salmonella expressing Burkholderia mallei LPS O antigen provides protection in a murine model of melioidosis and glanders. PLOS ONE. 10(7):e0132032.
  • Freudenberger-Catanzaro, K.C., A.E. Champion, N. Mohapatra, T. Cecere, and T.J. Inzana*. 2017. Glycosylation of a capsule-like complex (CLC) by Francisella novicida is required for virulence and partial protective immunity in mice. Front. Microbiol. 8:935.
  • Petruzzi, B., R.E. Briggs, F.M. Tatum, W. E. Swords, C. De Castro, A. Molinaro, A. Dickerman, and T.J. Inzana*. 2017. Capsular Polysaccharide Interferes with Biofilm Formation by Pasteurella multocida serogroup A. mBio, 8:e01843-17.
  • Murray, G.M., S.J. More, T.A. Clegg, B. Early, R.G. O’Neill, D. Johnston, J. Gilmore, M. Nosov, M.C. McElroy, T.J. Inzana, and J.P. Cassidy*. 2018. Risk factors associated with exposure to bovine respiratory disease pathogens during the peri-weaning period in dairy bull calves. BMC Vet. Res. 14:53.
  • Champion, C.E., Bandara, A.B., Mohapatra, N., Fulton, K.M., Twine, S.M., and T.J. Inzana*. 2018. Further characterization of the capsule-like complex (CLC) produced by Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis: protective efficacy and similarity to outer membrane vesicles. Frontiers Cell Infect Microbiol. 8:182.
  • Bandara, A.B., Z. Zuo, B. Fox, K. McCutcheon, J.R. Heflin, and T.J. Inzana*. 2018. Identification of Histophilus somni by a nanomaterial optical fiber biosensor assay. J. Vet. Diagn. Invest. 30:821-829.
  • Petruzzi, B., R.A. Dalloul, T. LaRoith, N.P. Evans, F.W. Pierson, T.J. Inzana*. 2018. Biofilm formation and avian immune response following experimental acute and chronic avian cholera due to Pasteurella multocida. Vet. Microbiol. 222:114-123.
  • Pan, Y., Y. Tagawa, A. Champion, I. Sandal, and T.J. Inzana*. 2018. Histophilus somni survives in bovine macrophages by interfering with phagosome-lysosome fusion, but requires IbpA for optimal serum resistance. Infect. Immun. 86: pii: e00365-18.
  • McCutcheon, K., A.B. Bandara, Z. Zuo, J.R. Heflin, and T.J. Inzana*. 2019. The application of a nanomaterial optical fiber biosensor for identification of Brucella nomenspecies. Biosensors. 9: 64.
  • Champion, A.E., K.C. Freudenberger-Catanzaro, A.B. Bandara, and T.J. Inzana*. 2019. Biofilm formation by Francisella tularensis is dependent upon cell surface glycosylation, growth medium, and a glucan exopolysaccharide. Sci. Rep., 9:12252.
  • Dickerman, A. A.B. Bandara, and T.J. Inzana*. 2019. Phylogenomic analysis of Haemophilus parasuis and proposed reclassification to Glaesserella parasuis, gen. nov., comb. nov. Internatl. J. System. Evolution. Mirobiol. DOI 10.1099/ijsem.0.003730.