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College of Veterinary Medicine

Raymond R. R. "Bob" Rowland, Ph.D.

 Professor of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology

N211A Mosier Hall
Office: 785-532-4631
Fax: 785-532-4039
Email browland@vet.k-state.edu

Education and Professional Training

  • BA, Biology, California State University, Fresno
  • MA, Microbiology, San Francisco State University
  • PhD, Microbiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota School of Medicine
  • Assistant and Associate Professor (Tenured) Department of Biology/Microbiology, South Dakota State University

Field of Study

Dr. Rowland is an internationally recognized expert in swine diseases.  The overall goal of his research is to develop tools for the detection and control of emerging and foreign animal diseases swine, with an emphasis on viral infections. The bulk of these efforts are directed at elucidating molecular mechanisms of viral persistence and virulence caused by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), the most important disease to ever face the swine industry. Recent efforts are directed at understanding the role of host genetics in the disease response. In addition to PRRSV, Dr. Rowland was the first to establish African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) research at the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) on the Kansas State University campus.  These activities include the participation of undergraduate, graduate and DVM students.


A hallmark of the Rowland research philosophy is to conduct, organize and participate in multidisciplinary research that ultimately delivers transformational improvements in animal health.  These activities go beyond the traditional single researcher to include formation of large collaborative efforts as a means to tackle large complex disease problems.  His research is directed at both foreign and endemic infectious diseases of livestock to include the development of novel vaccines and diagnostic tests, understanding the mechanisms of disease, and the role of host genetics in disease resistance.  Evidence of productivity includes more than 130 refereed publications, 98 invited presentations in 13 countries and more than $10 million in accumulated research-related funding.

Current Projects:

  • Development and application of multiplex approaches for serological and molecular diagnosis of swine diseases
  • The genetics of host resistance to PRRSV infection
  • Genetic modification of host genes, such as CD163, for improved resistance to PRRSV
  • The role of host genetics in the response of pigs to ASFV
  • The discovery and study of pigs with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)

Selected Professional Activities

Executive Director, 2010-present, North American Porcine Reproductive Syndrome Symposium (NA PRRS).  https://www.vet.k-state.edu/na-prrs/index.html

Co-Director, 2009-present, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Host Genetics Consortium, a multiyear project devoted to understanding the genetics of the interaction between the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and its host.

Project Director, 2008-2013, U.S. Department of Agriculture's multistate Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Coordinated Agricultural Project, a successful four-year program to effectively coordinate efforts aimed at dealing with the disease that includes research, education and extension.

Member, editorial board, Journal of Virology, 2017-2019        

Guest editor for special issue of Veterinary Microbiology, (2017) Alternative strategies for the control of PRRS.  

Vice President of the 25th International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS) and combined International PRRS Symposium, China.


My current focus is the training of PhD and DVM students in research along with mentoring undergraduate students through the research laboratory experience. Previous graduate and undergraduate teaching experience includes lectures and/or laboratories in immunology, virology, molecular microbial genetics, medical microbiology, and microbial pathogenesis.

Selected Publications

Link to NCBI – MyBibliography for a complete list of published work

Prather, RS, KD Wells,KM Whitworth, MA Kerrigan, MS Samuel,  A Mileham, LN Popescu, RRR Rowland. 2017. Knockout of maternal CD163 protects fetuses from infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). Sci Rep. 7:13371

Jaing, C, RRR Rowland, JE Allen, A Certoma, JB Thissen, J Bingham, B Rowe, JR White, J Wynne, D Johnson, N Gaudreault, DT Williams. Gene expression analysis of whole blood RNA from pigs infected with low and high pathogenic African swine fever viruses.  Sci Rep. 7:10115.

Popescu, LN, BR Trible, N Chen, RRR Rowland. 2017. GP5 of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) as a target for homologous and broadly neutralizing antibodies. Vet Microbiol. 209:90-96.

Dekkers, J, Rowland RR, JK Lunney, G Plastow. 2017. Host genetics of response to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in nursery pigs. Vet Microbiol. 209:107-113.

Wells, KD,R Bardot, K M Whitworth, BR Trible, Y Fang,  A Mileham, MA Kerrigan, MS Samuel, RS PratherRRR Rowland. 2017. Substitution of porcine CD163 SRCR domain 5 with a CD163-like homolog confers resistance of pigs to genotype 1 but not genotype 2 porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) viruses. J Virol. In press.

Popescu, L, NN Gaudreault, K Whitworth, M Murgia, JC Nietfeld,A Mileham,  M Samuel,KD Wells, RS Prather, RR Rowland. 2017. Genetically edited pigs lacking CD163 show no resistance following infection with the African swine fever virus isolate, Georgia 2007/1. Virology. 501:102-106.

Niederwerder, MC, CJ Jaing, JB Thissen, AG Cino-Ozuna, KS McLoughlin, RR Rowland. 2016. Microbiome associations in pigs with the best and worst clinical outcomes following co-infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2). Vet Microbiol. 188:1-11.

Jaing, CJ, JB Thissen, SN Gardner, KS McLoughlin, P Hullinger, PJ, N Monday, MC Niederwerder, RR Rowland. 2015.  Application of a pathogen microarray for the analysis of viruses and bacteria in clinical diagnostic samples from pigs. J Vet Diagn Invest. 27:313-325.