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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Office of Research (OR): Dr. Patrick McDermott, New Deputy Director

By Dr. Carmen Stamper, Contributing Editor, Communications

Dr. Patrick McDermott was recently selected to be the new Deputy Director of CVM’s Office of Research (OR).  Dr. McDermott received a Bachelors of Science in Zoology, and Masters of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arkansas.  From 1991 to 1993, he worked as a staff scientist at Abbott Laboratories, where he helped develop some of the first methods that used PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to detect bacteria that cause disease.  From 1994 to 1998, Dr. McDermott was a post-doctoral fellow at Tufts University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Stuart B. Levy, an expert on antimicrobial resistance.  After completing his post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. McDermott accepted a Research Associate position at Wake Forest University to study how the bacteria Salmonella cause disease. He joined CVM’s newly formed Division of Animal and Food Microbiology (DAFM) in 2000.

Dr. McDermott’s expertise is in antimicrobial resistance associated with food animal production practices.  Since joining CVM in 2000, Dr. McDermott has played many roles at the Center, including research microbiologist, team leader, and most recently, Director of DAFM.  He has co-authored more than 70 research publications, 150 abstracts, and 10 book chapters, and has given over 70 presentations on CVM research at national and international scientific meetings.  Dr. McDermott has also received many awards for his achievements, including the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service. 

In addition to conducting research, Dr. McDermott serves as the Program Director for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS).  Established in 1996, NARMS is an interagency program involving CVM, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The goals of NARMS are to make sure FDA-approved antimicrobial drugs remain effective by promoting the appropriate use of these drugs by veterinarians and medical practitioners, and to identify antimicrobial resistance issues that need further study. 

Dr. McDermott is involved with many national and international groups that deal with antimicrobial resistance issues.  Nationally, he is an advisor to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute’s (CLSI) sub-committee on Veterinary Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing, and is a member of CLSI’s Working Group on Fastidious and Infrequently Isolated Organisms.  He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.  Internationally, Dr. McDermott serves on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR), and is a member of WHO’s Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) steering committee.

Dr. McDermott’s vast knowledge and experience are invaluable in helping CVM in its mission to protect human and animal health.  Congratulations, Dr. McDermott!