CORVALLIS - Theo Dreher, a professor of microbiology at Oregon State University, has been named chair of the OSU Department of Microbiology.

Dreher will replace Peter Bottomley, who has provided interim leadership in that position for the past 18 months.

The Department of Microbiology at OSU dates back to 1899, and has more than two dozen regular and adjunct faculty who conduct research in vaccine development; food production; immunology; human, plant and animal disease; food and water safety; novel microorganisms from extreme environments; and many other topics.

Dreher received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne and has been on the OSU faculty since 1987. He conducts research in the genetic expression and replication of positive strand RNA viruses, which form a large group of viruses that infect animals, plants and humans, including such viruses as poliovirus, West Nile virus and hepatitis C virus.

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Thayne Dutson, 541-737-2331