Texas Tech University

Professor of Veterinary Microbiology Joins Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine

Weston Brooks

March 24, 2022

Devendra Shah

Devendra Shah has a passion for teaching students about the intricacies of microbiology and infectious diseases in veterinary medicine.

When Devendra Shah, a first-generation student, was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, there was no doubt about his answer. After living in a rural town in western India where the cattle industry boomed, he knew he wanted to be a veterinarian.

His deep rural roots sparked a life-long pursuit in veterinary medicine. This spark led him on an incredible career journey during which he has developed subject matter expertise.

Shah has now landed in the heart of U.S. livestock production.  He brings his expertise to the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo as a professor of veterinary microbiology. He began his duties March 1.

“I am excited and looking forward to contributing to the foundation of a new dynamic and developing veterinary medical education and research program at Texas Tech,” said Shah.

Shah is a skilled veterinarian who specializes in veterinary microbiology and infectious diseases. He focuses on genomics, host-pathogen-microbiota interactions, bacterial pathogenesis, antimicrobial resistance, and strategies to mitigate antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens transmitted from animals to humans via food.

Shah is an avid educator with a passion for teaching the next generation of veterinarians using clinically relevant, evidence-based instruction with a focus on veterinary microbial infectious disease.

“Control of infectious disease is so important to the health and productivity of animals,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “Effective control can also benefit human health.  Salmonella, as an example, can spillover between animals and people.  Dr. Shah's work at Texas Tech will benefit both animals and people.  We are so thrilled he chose to join our School and the Amarillo community.”

Shah's educational career began at Bombay Veterinary College in Mumbai, India, where he earned his Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry in 1995. He received his master's degree in 1997 with a research focus on pathobiology and epidemiology of multi-drug resistant Salmonella in commercial poultry production.

In 2002, Shah completed his PhD degree with research on molecular epidemiology and developing diagnostics for the detection of causative agents of bovine and human tuberculosis.

Shah then pursued his postdoctorate at the biosafety research institute at Chonbuk National University in South Korea where he made landmark discoveries in the areas of molecular pathogenesis of Salmonella. Also, he developed novel molecular diagnostics for the causative agents of fowl typhoid and pullorum disease in commercial poultry production.

He came to the U.S. to pursue his second post-doctorate in 2005 at Washington State University, where he became an assistant professor of veterinary microbiology and infectious diseases at the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. He received tenure and was promoted to associate professor in 2014.

Shah has taught veterinary clinical microbiology and infectious diseases to over 1,300 veterinary students, and he has trained several young researchers in the areas of food-safety, antimicrobial resistance and control of food-borne pathogens in agriculture animal production.

“Dr. Shah brings clinical microbiology experience to our team. He will teach veterinary students the important aspects of diagnostic microbiology so that they can be effective practitioners. Why to pick an antimicrobial? How to interpret an antibiotic sensitivity result? What diagnostic test to use for particular bacteria? How to be responsible in antibiotic use. These are just some examples of the impact areas he will have with our students,” said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs. “We are extremely happy someone with his experience was able to join the School of Veterinary Medicine.”

Shah has had a distinguished career with numerous achievements. The most notable being awarded a Caroline Engle Distinguished Professor of Infectious Disease Research at Washington State University.

He is a member of the U.S. Conference of Research Workers on Animal Diseases (CRWAD), Poultry Science Association (PSA), Indian Association of Veterinary Microbiologists, Immunologists & Infectious Disease and Indian Association of Veterinary Public Health Specialists.

Shah is thrilled to begin working with faculty, staff and students at Texas Tech and is ready to inspire the next generation of veterinarians to make a difference in the community and beyond.

About the School of Veterinary Medicine

Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo was established in 2018. In March 2021, the school was granted the all-important status of Provisional Accreditation, from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE).

The School of Veterinary Medicine recruits and selects students with a passion to serve rural and regional communities. Its curriculum is focused on the competencies and skills necessary for success in practice types that support these communities. Texas Tech's innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.