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Joseph Falkinham

Professor Emeritus of Microbiology
5008 Derring Hall (MC 0406)
926 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

NEW in 2023!

Opportunistic Premise Plumbing Pathogens
by Joseph O. Falkinham III

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9789814968409
  • Subject: Microbiology and Virology
  • Published: February 2023
  • Pages: 350

Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Mycobacterium avium are water-borne opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs) that cause human disease of great economic cost. The incidence and prevalence of OPPP-disease caused by these three exemplary OPPPs is increasing at alarming rates.

As the first book-length review of OPPPs, this book describes the shared characteristics of the emerging group of water-borne pathogens that are normal inhabitants of drinking water systems and premise plumbing. It discusses the selective conditions of drinking water distribution systems and premise plumbing that have led to the emergence of OPPPs. The text also reviews the results of the studies that describe microbial adaptations leading to survival, persistence, and growth in drinking water distribution systems and premise plumbing.

April 17, 2019: Department of Biological Science's Joseph Falkinham honored with emeritus status by Board of Visitors

Joseph Falkinham, professor of microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1974, Falkinham focused his most recent research on mycobacteria, legionella, and amoeba in household plumbing; biofilm formation by mycobacteria; isolation and identification of new anti-mycobacterial antibiotics; and mechanism of action of antibiotic dendritic amphiphiles.

Throughout his career, Falkinham maintained consistent research funding from federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He authored and co-authored three books, 31 book chapters, and 25 invited review articles for scientific journals, and published 136 peer-reviewed papers in journals. He has presented multiple invited papers and lectures on mycobacteria at national and international meetings and is considered an international authority.

Falkinham has served on three different professional editorial boards and was editor for the International Journal of Microbiology. He is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Public Health, London, and received the Gardner Middlebrook Award for Mycobacteriology by the American Society of Microbiology.

In the classroom, Falkinham taught the flagship undergraduate course in genetics and multiple advanced courses in microbial genetics and molecular biology for both undergraduate and graduate students. He has mentored 19 master’s degree and seven Ph.D. students and served on multiple graduate advisory committees in the Department of Biological Sciences and other departments.

Falkinham received his bachelor’s degree in 1964 and Ph.D. in 1969, both from the University of California, Berkeley.