Roy Curtiss is Professor in the Departments of Infectious Diseases and Immunology and Comparative, Diagnostic and Population Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine and in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. He was born in New York City, was engaged in 4-H and farm youth organizations to travel throughout the US before formal education at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. In 2014, he was selected as the Lifetime Achievement Award Laureate of the American Society for Microbiology and in 2020 as the Distinguished Microbiologist of the Year by the American College of Veterinary Microbiology. Dr. Curtiss is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the St. Louis Academy of Sciences and the Arizona Arts, Science and Technology Academy. He has conducted research at Cornell University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of Chicago, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Washington University in St. Louis and Arizona State University prior to joining the faculty at the University of Florida.

Research Interests

Dr. Curtiss' early work was in avian genetics on cross breeding of White Plymouth Rock and White Cornish chickens to yield broilers with better growth properties and meat conformation, genetics of bacteriophage P22 of Salmonella, mechanisms of bacterial conjugation in E. coli and use of bacterial minicells for studies of R and Col plasmids and cloned genes. Later work focused on establishing the molecular genetic bases for pathogenicity of Streptococcus mutans, Shigella flexneri, Mycobacterium leprae, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli and Bordetella avium. The Curtiss group developed biological containment first for cloned genes in the recombinant DNA debate era and then for attenuated bacterial vaccines derived from pathogenic invasive bacteria. His lab is currently focusing on the design, construction and evaluation of extensicely genetically modified derivatives of Salmonella, and more recently Edwardsiella, as vaccine vectors to deliver protective antigens encoded by genes from other pathogens as well as DNA vaccines encoding such protective antigens. These technologies are being used to evaluate live Protective Immunity Enhanced Bacterial Vaccines (PIEBVs) to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by bacterial, viral and parasite infectious disease agents of fish, poultry, swine, ruminants and humans.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 44: Microbial Biology