Subscribe to Newsletter

Rodney E. Rohde

You would expect me to react poorly to seeing my life’s work flying out the window – let alone flying out of a plane. But before academia, I spent a decade with the Texas DSHS Bureau of Laboratories and Zoonosis Control Division as a public health microbiologist and molecular epidemiologist. One of my public health roles was in the inaugural Oral Rabies Vaccination Program, which eliminated canine rabies from Texas via the use of a recombinant rabies vaccine. The liquid vaccine was inside a sachet, which itself was inside a bait matrix (think: a cube of dog food). We distributed them aerially with Canadian Twin Otter aircraft along the state border, as well as central and southern Texas. 

I was in a hybrid position working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a molecular-based test to track all rabies virus variants in the wild. This role led to me helping establish the laboratory as a regional rabies reference typing center for the US, Mexico, and other countries – something it still does to this day, along with other rabies virus variants. As noted, I also participated in the aerial distribution of the vaccine baits and the surveillance portion to show vaccine efficacy in wildlife – coyotes, foxes, and other canids – via tetracycline biomarking of teeth and serology of wildlife antibodies. This effort was international in scope, and it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime event that set the groundwork for my future efforts in public health, clinical microbiology, and the medical laboratory healthcare environment. This experience has created a passion in how I teach, interact with colleagues, and mentor. I am passionate about advocating for everyone to seek out amazing opportunities – everything from internships to TEDx talks. It continues to be my source of fuel for advocacy and my efforts globally.

Part of the Power List 2022

Find out more

Welcome to our annual celebration of the great and inspirational minds that underpin the medical laboratory.

Go to The Power List 2022

Part of the Power List 2020

Find out more

You nominated and our expert judging panels deliberated – and now, we proudly showcase this diversity of talent in The Pathologist’s 2020 Power List.

Go to The Power List 2020

Register to The Pathologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine