Ellen Collisson | The Council for Frontiers of Knowledge

Ellen Collisson, PhD

Posted by Mark

Fionn Murtagh

Professor of Microbiology


  • S., 1968, University of Illinois, Urbana Microbiology
  • S., 1978, University of Alabama, Birmingham Medical Center, Microbiology
  • D., 1980, University of Alabama, Birmingham Medical Center Microbiology

Professional Experience

  • 2007 to present; Professor, Western University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • 1996-2007; Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Member of the Faculties of Genetics, Professional Program in Biotechnology, and Virology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
  • 1990-1996; Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Member of Genetics Faculty, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
  • 1985-1990; Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Parasitology, Member of Genetics Faculty, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
  • 1981-1984; Research Associate, Microbiologist, Molecular Virologist, USDA, ARS, Denver, CO.
  • 1980-1981; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Molecular Virologist, University of Alabama Medical Center, Birmingham, AL.
  • 1978; MS and 1980; PhD in Microbiology, University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham
  • 1968-1971; Secondary School Science Teacher, Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, Africa and Ghana, Africa.

Board of Directors

  • Council for the Frontiers of Knowledge, Makerere University, Uganda, Founding Member
  • Friends of Malawi, U.S. based non-profit organization dedicated to the development of Malawi
Editorial Boards
  • Virus Genes
  • Poultry Science
  • Virology
Grant Reviewer

Past-United States Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Academic Interests

Virology and Immunology

Teaching Experience

Secondary School, Undergraduate, Graduate, Veterinary Virology, Veterinary Immunology


Veterinary Virology, Immunology, Molecular Virology, Biochemistry


Teaching is the process of providing the tools for students to become life-long learners; to successfully investigate and integrate ideas and to formulate novel hypotheses

Research Interest

  • Avian Virology and Immunology
  • Molecular virology of the avian coronavirus
  • Special interests in the functions of CD 8 T lymphocyts and macrophages
  • Development of subunit vaccines
  • Genetic basis for resistance to respiratory diseases

Research Grant

Past Funding since 2003

  • 2002-2003 PI. Baylor Center for AIDS Research, "A Small Animal Model for AIDS" $40,000
  • 2002-2003 PI, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, "Construction of an IBV Molecular Clone for Vaccine Development and Gene Delivery," $41,000.
  • 2003-2004 PI, NIH NIAID, Reagents and Reference Reagent Program, "Anti-viral factors from stimulated T cells, $21,873.
  • 2003-2004 PI, IDEXX Corporation- "Pathogenesis Study for a New Clade of FIV," 48,500.
  • Co-In, National Wildlife Services. Developing strategies to control REV in the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken. $3000.
  • 2005-2006 Co-In, Blanca Lupiani as PI USDA CAP grant, Developing recombinant vaccines for avian influenza virus, $60,000
  • 2006 PI, Pfizer, proprietary research, $38,000.
  • 2005-2007 Co-In, Mark Westhusin as PI, "Production of new models for biomedical research by RNAi," $400,000 for 2 years.
  • 2006-2007 Co-P.I., P.I. Cheng Kao, NIH NIAID, "Activities of the SARS endonuclease," $250,000.
  • 2005-2009 PI, USDA competitive grant, "Maximizing the memory T cell response to avian influenza virus." $350,000, 2006-2009.
  • 2006-2011 PI, Federal Wildlife Service, "Controlling for the REV Threat to the Endangered Attwater's Prairie Chicken," $50,000/year for 5 years ($250,000).
  • 2007-2010 Co-Inv- USDA-NRI, Mark Westhusisin PI. "Endogenous gene silencing by RNA interference: A new and effective method to study functional genomics in livestock species," $449,209.
  • 2007-2010 Co-Inv-USDA Avian Influenza Cooperative Agriculture Program. PI-Haroldo Toro (Auburn University), "Non-replicating adenovirus vaccines for avian influenza," $101,940.
  • 2008-2010 PI-USDA Avian Influenza Cooperative Agriculture Program. "Avian Influenza Education for Families with Backyard Poultry in Southern California," $83,915.
  • 2008-2011 PI, USDA-NRI, Competitive grants program, "Impact of immune responses of chickens with defined B haplotypes on resistance to respiratory coronavirus infection." $375,000.
  • 2010-2012 Co-Inv, PI Diniz, Pedro P.V.P, Winn Feline Foundation “Molecular prevalence and viral load of replicating feline coronavirus in the bloodstream of healthy shelter cats in southern California,” $10,000.
  • 2010-2012 Co-Inv, PI, Jill Adler Moore (Cal Poly), State University Agricultural Research Initiative  “Combination liposomal and DNA vaccine technologies for development of non-infectious influenza vaccines for protecting poultry,” $150,000.
  • 2010-2012 PI, Surro Immune (Surro Immunology), “Effects of caprine arthritis encephalitis virus on macrophage and T lymphocyte function,” $40,116.
Current Funding
  • 2012-2014 Co-PI, PI, Dr. Jill Adler-Moore (Cal Poly State University), Agricultural Research Initiative, “Optimization of a liposomal M2e avian influenza vaccine,” $182,000 ($60,000 for Western U).
  • 2012-2014 2013-2015  Co-Inv, PI-Dr. Jill Adler-Moore (Cal Poly State University), Agricultural Research Initiative, “Development of a Vaccine to Prevent Aspergillosis in Poultry,” $182,000 ($60,000 for Western U).


  • Pfizer Award for Research Excellence
  • Recognition from USDA APHIS Live Bird Program


  • American Society of Virology
  • American Association of Avian Pathologists


Selected Peer Reviewed Publications since 2003

  • Pei, J, Briles, WE & Collisson, EW. 2003. Memory T cells protect chicks from acute infectious bronchitis virus infection, Virology, 206:376-384.
  • Winslow, BJ, Cochran, MD, Holzenburg, A, Sun, J, Junger, DE & Collisson, EW. 2003. Replication and expression of a swinepox virus vector delivering feline leukemia virus gag and env to cell lines of swine and feline origin. Virus Res. 98(1):1-15.
  • Phadke, AP, Choi, IS, Li, Z, Weaver EA and Collisson, EW. 2004. Role of inducer cells and cell-cell contact in mediating non-cytolytic suppression of feline immunodeficiency virus in vitro. Virology, 320:63-74.
  • Brooks JE, Rainer, AC, Parr, RL, Woolcock, P, Hoerr & Collisson, EW. 2004 Comparisons of the membrane gene of various strains of avian infectious bronchitis virus show evidence of recombination. Virus Res, Mar;100(2):191-8.
  • Weaver, EA, Collisson, EW (corresponding author), Slater, M. & Zhu, G,. 2004. Phylogenetic analyses of Texas isolates imply the emergence of a new feline immunodeficiency virus clade. J Virol, 78;2158-63.
  • Vahlenkamp, TW, Bull ME, Dow JL, Collisson EW, Winslow BJ, Phadke AP, Tompkins WA, Tompkins MB. 2004. B7CTLA4 T cells engage in T-T cell interactions that mediate apoptosis: a model for lentivirus-induced T cell depletion. Vet Immun Immunopath, 98(3-4):203-14.
  • Bull, ME, Vahlenkamp, TW, dow, JL, Collisson, EW, Winslow, BJ, Phadke, AP, Tompkins, MB and Tompkins, WAF. 2004. Spontaneous T cell apoptosis in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cats is inhibtied by IL2 and anti-B7.1 antibodies. Vet Immun Immunopath, 99:25-37.
  • Pei, J & Collisson, EW. 2005. Specific antibody secreting cells from chickens can be detected by three days and memory B cells by three weeks post-infection with the avian respiratory coronavirus. Devel Comp Immunol, 29:153-160.
  • Youn, SJ, Leibowitz, J & Collisson, EW. 2005. In vitro Assembled, Recombinant Infectious Bronchitis Viruses Demonstrate that the 5a Open Reading Frame is not Essential For Replication in Vero Cells. Virology, 332:206-215.
  • Li, Z, Weaver, EA, Phadke, A, Ball, j, Wolf, AM & Collisson, EW. 2005. Feline CD8+ T Cells Induced with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infected, T Cells Produce Multiple, Anti-FIV Factors, Devel Comp Immunol, 332:206-215.
  • Jayaram, J, Youn, S & Collisson, EW. 2005. The virion infectious bronchitis virus N protein is more phosphorylated than the N protein from infected cell lysates. Virology, 339:127-135.
  • Youn, SJ, Collisson, EW & Machamer, CE. 2005. Contribution of trafficking signals in the cytoplasmic tail of the infectious bronchitis virus spike protein to virus infection. Virology, 332:206-215.
  • Winslow, BJ, Kalabat, DY, Brown, SM, Cocran, MD & Collisson, EW. 2005. Feline B7.1 and B7.2 proteins produced from swinepox virus vectors are natively processed and biologically active. Vet Micro, 111:1-13.
  • Bohls, R, Ferro, PJ, Smith, R, Li, Z, Silvy, N & Collisson, EW. 2006. The use of flow cytometry to discriminate avian lymphocytes from contaminating thrombocyte. Devel Comp Immunol 30:843-850.
  • Phadke, A, de la Concha-Bermejillo, A, Wolf, AM, Andersen, PR, Baladandayuthapani, V & Collisson, EW. 2006. Pathogenesis of a Texas feline immunodeficiency virus isolate: An emerging subtype of clade B, Vet. Micro, 114:64-76.
  • Bohls, RL, Linares, JA, Gross, SL, Ferro, PJ, Silvy, NJ and Collisson, EW. 2006. Phylogenetic Analyses Indicate Little Variation Among Reticuloendotheliosis Viruses Infecting Avian Species, Including the Endangered Attwater's Prairie Chicken. Virus Res, 119:187-194.
  • Hariharan, J, Fan, H , Bowman, BR, Ooi, A, Jayaram, J, Collisson, EW, Julian, L, Prasad, BVV. 2006. X-ray structures of the N and C-terminal domains of a coronavirus N protein: Structural basis of nucleocapsid formation. Journal Virology, 80:6612-6620.
  • Bolhs, RL, Collisson, EW, Silvy, NJ and Phalen, D. 2006. Pathogenesis of reticuloendotheliosis virus in the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken. Avian Diseases, 50:613-9.
  • Collisson, EW and Bohls, RL. 2006. Development of regents for the study of reticuloendotheliosis virus in the endangered Attwater's praire chicken. 55th Western Poultry Disease, Annual Meeting. March, Sacramento, CA.
  • Youn, S, Collisson, EW, & Machamer, CE. 2006. Transcriptional regulation of RNA3 of infectious bronchitis virus. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2006;581:109-12.
  • Collisson, EW, Singh, S & Omran, T. 2007. Developments in avian influenza virus vaccines. Invited review, J Poultry Sci. , 44 (No.3):238-257.
  • Collisson, EW, Drechsler, Y & Singh, S. 2008. Evolving vaccine choices for the continuously evolving avian influenza virus. Invited review, CAP Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Nutrition and Natural Resourses.
  • Drechsler, Y, Bohls, RL, Smith, R, Silvy, N, Lillehoj, H, and Collisson, EW.2009. An avian, oncogenic retrovirus replicates in vivo in more than fiftey percent of CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes from an endangered grouse. Virology, 386:380-386.
  • Smith AG, Jayaram J, Johnson CB, Ellis EA, Vitha S, Collisson EW, Holzenburg A.2009. Improved protein detection using cold microwave technology. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;536:533-43.
  • Singh S, Briles WE, Lupiani B, Collisson, EW. Avian influenza viral nucleocapsid and hemagglutinin proteins induce chicken CD8+ T lymphoycte responses.  Virology 399:231-8.
  • Singh S, Briles, WE, Toro, H, Tang, D-C, and Collisson, EW. 2010. Non-replicating adenovirus vectors expressing avian influenza virus hemagglutinin and nucleocapsid proteins induce chicken specific memory CD8+T lymphocytes. Virology, 405(1):62-69.
  • Banat G, Tkalcic, S, Dzielawa, JA, Jackwood, M, Saggese, MD, Yates, L, Kopulos R, Briles WE, and Collisson, EW. Association of the chicken MHC B haplotypes with resistance to avian coronavirus. Dev Comp Immunol. Apr;39(4):430-7.
  • Drechsler Y, Tkalcic S, Saggese M, Shrivaprasad H, Ajithdoss D and Collisson E. A DNA vaccine expressing envand gagoffers partial protection against retculoendotheliosis virus in the prairie chicken (Typanicus cupido). J Zoo Wildl Med. 2013 Jun;44(2):251-61.
  • Dawes M, Griggs L, Briles WE, Collisson E, and Drechsler Y. Dramatic differences in IFNgand Poly IC Stimulation of Macrophages from Chickens with B2 and B19 MHC Defined haplotypes.Poult Sci. 2014 Apr;93(4):830-8.