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Joseph James Modarelli

Joseph James Modarelli

Advisors: Drs. Jim Derr & Maria Esteve-Gassent

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology

TVMDL/1 Sippel Road

College Station , Texas 77843
Office Phone: (979) 845-3414


  1. B.S., Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, December 2012


Entered program in 2014

Research Project:

My project focuses on the development of a canine qPCR tick borne multiplex assay that will aid in the detection of canine sensitive pathogens that are transmitted by the ectoparasitic tick in a veterinary diagnostic setting. The assay can be used as a stand-alone test for time efficient diagnostic results, or in conjunction with serological assays to conclude a more sensitive and precise window of treatment for the affected animal. 

Broader Impacts of Research Project:

The goal of this project is to produce the most time efficient and cost effective means to detect life threatening parasites within the animal host before irreversible damage from the pathogen can occur. The long term view of this project entails the broadening of the assay for the detection of more clinically important parasites in a larger variety of patients, including humans. Tick borne diseases are rarely diagnosed correctly and when undetected result in chronic conditions that affect the quality of life for the patient. If caught early these pathogens can be properly cleared from the patient without any lasting effects. The qPCR platform allows for fast and meaningful results that will help the veterinarian/medical practitioner make well informed decisions towards the treatment of the patient. The multiplex nature of this assay allows for multiple pathogens to be detected within one test, resulting in a more cost effective and less invasive approach to diagnosis.