Aug. 27, 2019

Episode 035 - Dr. Manuel Varela talks about ecological benefits and impacts to microbes and their relationship to wildlife

Episode 035 - Dr. Manuel Varela talks about ecological benefits and impacts to microbes and their relationship to wildlife

Dr. Manuel Varela is a microbiology professor at Eastern New Mexico University located in the small ranch town of Portales, NM. He is the co-author of two books “The inventions and discoveries of the World Most famous scientists and “enter the...


Dr. Manuel Varela is a microbiology professor at Eastern New Mexico University located in the small ranch town of Portales, NM. He is the co-author of two books “The inventions and discoveries of the World Most famous scientists and “enter the world of microbiology: interviews of the world's most famous microbiologists.While in graduate school he coined the term “Antiporter Motif” and went on to study microbial physiology at Harvard. After Harvard, he returned to New Mexico where he started his own lab at ENMU. He teaches Microbiology, Microbial Physiology, Immunology, Medical Microbiology, and Virology. Wow… As I say this I realize that these are all courses that I registered for and passed in undergrad! It makes me a bit nervous still to think about those exams! And that was a huge accomplishment because Dr. V is a tough but wonderfully engaging professor. (take a deep breath) He also mentors graduate students and works collaboratively around the world on topics such as bacterial sugar transporters, drug resistance, and discovered multi-drug efflux pumps. In this episode we are going to talk about connection of bacteria and the environment. Dr. Varela’s research is showing that food-borne pathogens are becoming antibiotic resistant. These enter our environment through food animals - in waste streams and production. Polluting our water and land. The reduction of antibiotics as a growth mechanism in food animals is now being banned globally - yet there is a concern about resistance and a looming food shortage in the near future. Let’s have a look at the importance of bacteria - especially for creating a healthy environment that we promote survival of biodiversity. One more plug before we get started. I know that you may have a special professor or mentor in your life that really saw potential in you - even if you had no idea you had ounce of potential. Dr. V is that professor for me. We’ve known each other since 1997 when I took my first Microbiology course with him. Over the years he has provided references that supported me acceptance into graduate programs and fellowships - literally he has supported me as I follow my dreams. He has given me amazing advice to help others in education and on my own research pursuits and publication. I am so grateful to Dr. V! If you have a professor or mentor that has changed your life send a Thank You note today!