David Engelthaler
David Engelthaler

David Engelthaler Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Co-Director
Pathogen and Microbiome Division

David Engelthaler Ph.D.

Dr. David Engelthaler is the Co-Director and Associate Professor of the Pathogen and Microbiome Division at TGen North. TGen North focuses on pathogen genomics with a specific mission to advance clinical medicine, public health and biodefense.

Dave is also the Director of the Public Health and Clinical Translation Center a The Pathogen and Microbiome Institute, a joint effort with TGen and Northern Arizona University. Dave is currently overseeing research projects involving advancing our understanding of multi drug resistant infections; development of novel genotyping techniques for genomic epidemiology and microbial forensics; fungal epidemiology and phylogenetics; and more. A major focus of this works involves adapting and advancing the use of next-generation sequencing tools for infectious disease research and health care. Dave also oversees the application of the above research in real-life disease outbreak investigations, both natural and man-made. Most recently, Dave has led investigations involving invasive group A Strep in the Southwest, Cryptococcosis emergence in the Pacific Northwest, a multi-state fatal fungal meningitis outbreak associated with contaminated medical products and many other disease investigations.

Dave is currently leading teams that have developed revolutionary techniques to detect extremely low-level subpopulations of resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in patients, weeks to months before current tests can detect resistance. Similar approaches are being applied to develop a next generation of test for hospitals and clinicians to rapidly identify critical multi-drug resistant organisms that result in ten of thousands of deaths in the US every year.

Prior to joining TGen, Dave was the State Epidemiologist for Arizona, at the Arizona Department of Health Services, where he was responsible for coordinating outbreak investigations and disease research activities state wide. From 2000 to 2005, Dave was also the Arizona Biodefense Coordinator, responsible for coordinating all state-wide activities regarding public health emergency preparedness and response, including response activities to suspect biothreat events, such as the suspicious powders that were seen following the anthrax letter attacks. He also served as state-wide coordinator for Pandemic Influenza and other public health emergency response activities. Prior to 2000, Dave was a biologist for the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he conducted research on highly infectious diseases like plague and tularemia.

Dave received a Ph.D. in Biology from Northern Arizona University with a focus on genomic epidemiology and a Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Colorado State University, where he studied host-vector-pathogen dynamics.


Straight from sputum: Rapid Drug Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Directly from Clinical Samples using Amplicon Sequencing. Colman RE, Anderson J, Lehmkuhl E, Lemmer D, Heaton H, Georghiou SB, Wiggins K, Crudu V, Cohen T Rodwell TC, Engelthaler DM. 2016 J Clin Microb. 2016 May 25. pii: JCM.00535-16.

Local population structure and patterns of Western Hemisphere dispersal for Coccidioides spp., the fungal cause of Valley Fever. Engelthaler DM, Roe C, Hepp CM, Teixeira M, Driebe EM, Schupp JM, , Glade L, Waddell V, Komatsu K, Thompson GR, Chiller T, Barker B, Keim P, Litvintseva AP. 2016. mBio 7(2):e00550-16.

The emergence of the hypervirulent M59 clone of invasive group A Streptococcus pyogenes in the American Southwest. Engelthaler DM, Valentine M, Bowers J, Pistole J, Driebe EM, Terriquez J, Nienstadt L, Carroll M, Schumacher M, Ormsby ME, Brady S, Livar E, Yazzie D, Waddell V, Peoples M, Komatsu K, Keim P. 2016. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016. 22:734-738.

Cryptococcus gattii in North American Pacific Northwest: whole population genome analysis provides insights into species evolution and dispersal. Engelthaler DM, Hicks ND, Gillece JD, Roe CC, Schupp JM, Driebe EM, Gilgado F, Carriconde F, Trilles L, Firacative C, Ngamskulrungroj P, Castañeda E, dos Santos Lazera M, Melhem MSC, Pérez-Bercoff Å, Huttlley G, Sorrell TC, Voelz K, May RC, Fisher MC, Thompson GR, Lockhart SR, Keim P, Meyer W. mBio. 2014. Jul 15;5(4):e01464-14.

Next-Generation Sequencing of Coccidioides immitis Isolated during Cluster Investigation. Engelthaler DM, Chiller T, Schupp JA, Colvin J, Beckstrom-Sternberg SM, Driebe EM, Moses T, Tembe W, Sinari S, Beckstrom-Sternberg JS, Christoforides A, Pearson JV, Carpten J, Keim P, Peterson A, Terashita D, Balajee SA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011. 17 (2):227-232.

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