BS in Animal Health Science, University of Arizona
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University
Associate Research Professor
Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
Our research involves the locally endemic systemic fungal infection, coccidioidomycosis, known in lay terms as Valley Fever. Valley Fever is acquired by inhaling the spores from the air and dust in Arizona’s deserts and most commonly causes pneumonia in people and dogs. However, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause very severe, even fatal, disease. With the Valley Fever Center for Excellence, we do research on vaccine development, new antifungal drugs to treat Valley Fever, and immunology to help understand the disease.
Coccidioides species, the fungi that cause Valley Fever, are Select Agents and also are Biosafety Level 3 pathogens. Dr. Shubitz is director of a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory, which contains special equipment to keep personnel from becoming ill while working with the live Valley Fever agent. In the last two years, testing of a new drug, Nikkomycin Z, has been going on in the laboratory, and now is in a preclinical trial in naturally infected dogs.
In addition to laboratory research, Dr. Shubitz is interested in clinical research in dogs regarding better treatments and understanding immunology in dogs with severe disease. Tucson is a great laboratory for dogs with Valley Fever and we can learn a lot from sick dogs.
Dr. Shubitz provides educational seminars on Valley Fever in dogs within the communities of Tucson and Phoenix and consults on canine Valley Fever cases one afternoon a week at Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson.
, J Yu, CY Hung, TN Kirkland, T Peng, R Perrill, J Simons, J Xue, RA Herr, GT Cole, JN Galgiani. Improved protection of mice against lethal respiratory infection with Coccidioides posadasii using two recombinant antigens expressed as a single protein. Vaccine
2006, 24(31-32):5904-11. PMID: 16759762