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Dr. Rodney E. Rohde

Clinical Laboratory Science Program Chair, Professor, and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health Professions, Texas State University

Champion of the Clinical Laboratory Science Profession and Winner of the 2015 urEssential Award

Essential to community? In a sentence, that is Dr. Rodney E. Rohde. As Professor at his beloved alma mater, Texas State University, and Chair of the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) Program, as well as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health Professions, Dr. Rohde is a champion and role model for his students, fellow faculty, professional colleagues and alumni. The urEssential Award recognizes and celebrates the essential contributions medical laboratory professionals make to patient care - and in sharing his time and talents for the betterment of the community and profession, Dr. Rohde espouses the heart of this award.

One of Dr. Rohde's passions is sharing his love for the laboratory with students and faculty; another is helping increase the visibility of the medical laboratory profession at the university and beyond. He weaves these values together through advocacy and mentoring. Dr. Rohde also uses his voice to further the cause of organizations like the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and the Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science (TACLS). Leading by example, he inspires his students and colleagues to become involved. With unwavering commitment, Dr. Rohde has successfully mentored multiple students serving as student forum chairs and board members of TACLS. Two were later elected at the national level - one as Student Forum Chair and another as Student Forum Vice Chair. In 2014, one of his students, Lindsey Coulter, was selected as a prominent Emerging Infectious Disease Fellow and awarded a full year fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another of his students, Jazmen Myers, was selected for several national awards, including the 2014 G2 Intelligence scholarship for excellence in Clinical Laboratory Science. These are just two examples of state and national recognition for his students.

Prior to his academic career at Texas State, Dr. Rohde served as a microbiologist and molecular epidemiologist for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Bureau of Laboratories and Zoonosis Control Division (ZDC) for 10 years. It was here that he developed an interest in zoonotic disease, especially rabies. Dr. Rohde spent much of his time performing antigenic and molecular typing of the different variants of rabies virus. The epidemiologic evidence gathered from this testing informed the work being done by the ZDC's Oral Rabies Vaccination Program (ORVP). While at DSHS, he helped initiate the Regional Reference Laboratory for Rabies Virus Variant Typing in collaboration with the CDC. Efforts of the ORVP have resulted in elimination of canine rabies in south Texas. As a faculty member at Texas State, Dr. Rohde shares his experience from the DSHS laboratory, CDC, and ORVP efforts with respect to public health into the various courses that he teaches: clinical microbiology, clinical immunology, molecular diagnostics, parasitology, clinical research and seminars.

Laboratory Professional of the Year