Craig Altier DVM, PhD

Faculty member

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences


Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853

Office: 607.253.3926
Lab: 607.253.3661
Fax: 607.253.3627

Research Interest

Research in our lab seeks to understand the means by which the bacterial pathogen Salmonella responds to its environment to express traits necessary for survival and virulence. One major research focus describes the cues within an animal host that induce virulence gene expression. The chemical environment of the intestine is largely defined by the bacteria that normally reside there and the byproducts of their metabolism. Our work shows that the fatty acids of the intestinal tract, produced by these resident bacteria, affect Salmonella virulence in a complex way: the fatty acid composition of the ileum, where Salmonella normally invades, promotes the expression of genes required for virulence, while colonic conditions have the opposite effect. Our work therefore examines how changes in the environment of the intestine affect the virulence of Salmonella, and how these conditions might be manipulated to reduce disease. We additionally study the means by which Salmonella can survive and proliferate in and on produce plants, as these agricultural products present a threat for the transfer of this pathogens to people. Our work in this area focuses on defining the genes and metabolic process required for Salmonella to survive in tomatoes, and in defining means by which the plant responds to this pathogen.


  • Ph.D., 1996, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (thesis advisor: Russ Maurer)
  • DVM, 1985, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • B.A., 1981, Biology, Hiram College, Hiram, OH

Biography/Professional Experience

  • 2012-present, Chair, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
  • 2008-Present, Associate Professor with Tenure, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University
  • 2006-2008, Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University
  • 2001-2006, Associate Professor with Tenure and Clinical Microbiologist, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University
  • 1995-2001, Assistant Professor and Clinical Microbiologist, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University
  • 1989-1995, Graduate Research Assistant, Case Western Reserve University
  • 1985-1989, Practicing Veterinarian


  1. Hung CC, Garner CD, Slauch JM, Dwyer ZW, Lawhon SD, Frye JG, McClelland M, Ahmer BM, Altier C. (2013) The intestinal fatty acid propionate inhibits Salmonella invasion through the post-translational control of HilD. Mol Microbiol. 87:1045-60. PMID:23289537.
  2. Meng F, Altier C, Martin GB. (2013) Salmonella colonization activates the plant immune system and benefits from association with plant pathogenic bacteria. Environ Microbiol. 2013 Feb 27. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12113.
  3. Cummings KJ, Perkins GA, Khatibzadeh SM, Warnick LD, Altier C. (2013) Antimicrobial Resistance Trends Among Salmonella Isolates Obtained from Dairy Cattle in the Northeastern United States, 2004-2011. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2013 Mar 4. PMID:23458026.
  4. Hung CC, Haines L, Altier C. (2012) The flagellar regulator fliT represses Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 through flhDC and fliZ. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e34220. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034220. Epub 2012 Mar 27.
  5. Dogan B, Scherl E, Bosworth B, Yantiss R, Altier C, McDonough PL, Jiang ZD, Dupont HL, Garneau P, Harel J, Rishniw M, Simpson KW. (2012) Multidrug resistance is common in Escherichia coli associated with ileal Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2012 Apr 16.
  6. Garner CD, Starr JK, McDonough PL, Altier C. (2010) Molecular identification of veterinary yeast isolates by use of sequence-based analysis of the D1/D2 region of the large ribosomal subunit. J Clin Microbiol. 48:2140-2146.
  7. Garner, CD, Antonopoulos, DA, Wagner, B, Duhamel, GE, Keresztes, I, Ross, DA, Young, VB, and Altier, C. (2009) Perturbation of the small intestinal microbial ecology by streptomycin alters pathology in a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium murine model of infection.
    Infect. Immun. 77:2691-2702.

Awards and Honors

  • 2004, Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, North Carolina State University
  • 1990-1993, NIH Graduate traineeship, Case Western Reserve University
  • 1985, D.V.M. awarded summa cum laude, Ohio State University
  • 1984, Phi Zeta, National Veterinary Honorary Society, Ohio State University
  • 1980, B.A. awarded summa cum laude, Hiram College
  • 1981, Phi Beta Kappa, Hiram College

Professional/Academic Affiliations

American Society for Microbiology