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Michael Kent checking out samples in lab

Michael L. Kent

Department of Microbiology

Michael L. Kent

Department of Microbiology



Ph.D., University of California


Presently the Kent lab is focusing on two major research areas; diseases of zebrafish in research facilities and impacts of pathogens on wild fishes in Oregon. In both areas, we are focusing on the study of chronic infectious diseases. In the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the use of zebrafish as a model in biomedical research. Underlying chronic diseases are of concern as they relate to non-protocol induced variation in laboratory fish, as they would with any laboratory animal. Microsporidosis (caused by Pseudoloma neurophilia); mycobacteriosis (caused by various species of Mycobacterium); the nematode Pseudocapillaria tomentosa, and Mycoplasma-related intestinal cancers are all common in zebrafish facilities, and are under investigation at this time. This work is supported by NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (NIH ORIP), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH NIAID), and the National Cancer Institute (NIH NCI). Co-investigators for this research at OSU include Dr. Thomas Sharpton (Departments of Microbiology and Statistics), Dr. Justin Sanders (Department of Biomedical Sciences), and Dr. Karen Guillemin (University of Oregon). Dr. Kent is also a Co-PI at the Zebrafish International Resource Center at the University of Oregon where he assists with health studies and their diagnostic service. esDr. Kent was instrumental in the design of an on-line manual on zebrafish diseases for the research community and he and Dr. Robyn Tanguay established the SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) zebrafish research colony at the Sinnhuber Aquatic Resource Center (OSU). This was supported by the NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Center and NIH ORIP.

Research Interests

  • Fish Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Pathogens of Zebra Fish

Research Area

Biomedical Science


  • Gaulke, C.A., Martins, M.L., Watral, V.G., Humphreys, I.R., Spagnoli, S.T., Kent, M.L., and Sharpton, T.J. 2019. A longitudinal assessment of host-microbe-parasite interactions resolves the zebrafish gut microbiome's link to Pseudocapillaria tomentosa infection and pathology. Microbiome. PMID 30678738.
  • Kent, M.L., Gaulke, G.A., Watral, V., and Sharpton, T.J. 2018. Pseudocapillaria tomentosa in laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio): Patterns of infection and dose response. Dis. Aquat. Org. (in press).
  • Colvin, M.E., Peterson, J.T., Sharpe, C., Kent, M.L., and Schreck, C.B. 2018. Identifying optimal hauling densities for adult run Chinook salmon trap and haul operations. River Res. Appl. (in press).
  • Murray, K.N., Wolf, J.C., Spagnoli, S.T., Lains, D., Budrow, N., and Kent, M.L. 2018. Reversibility of proliferative thyroid lesions induced by iodine deficiency in a laboratory zebrafish colony. Zebrafish doi:10.1089/zeb.2018.1603.
  • Janik, A.J., Markle, D.F., Heidel, J.R., and Kent, M.L. 2018. Histopathology and external examination of heavily parasitized Lost River Sucker Deltistes luxatus (Cope 1879) and Shortnose Sucker Chasmistes brevirostris (Cope 1879) from Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. J. Fish Dis. doi:10.1111/jfd.12875.
  • Herron, C.L., Kent, M.L. and Schreck, C.B. 2018. Swimming endurance in juvenile chinook salmon infected with Salmincola californiensis. J. Aquat. Anim. Health 30(1):81-89.
  • Norris, L.J., Watral, V., and Kent, M.L. 2018. Survival of bacterial and parasitic pathogens from zebrafish (Danio rerio) after cryopreservation and thawing. Zebrafish 15(2):188-201.
  • Martins, M.L, Tavares-Dias, M., Janik, A.J., Kent, M.L., and Jerônimo, G.T. 2017. Hematology and condition factor of tui chub and fathead minnow parasitized by nematode from Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, USA. Dis. Aquyat. Organ. 126(3):257-262.
  • Burns, A.R., Watral, V., Sichel, S., Spagnoli, S., Banse, A.V., Mittge, E., Sharpton, T.J., Guillemin, K., and Kent, M.L. 2018. Transmission of a common intestinal neoplasm in zebrafish by cohabitation. J Fish Dis. Oct 11. doi: 10.1111/jfd.12743. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Wilson, A.K., Watral, V.G., Kent, M.L., Sharpton, T.J., and Gaulke, C.A. 2017. Draft Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas sp. Strain DrBHI1 (Phylum Proteobacteria). Genome Announc. Sep 28;5(39). PMID: 29023774


  • OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award, 2018
  • Agricultural Research Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award, 2018
  • 2018 Outstanding Steward of Zebrafish Husbandry