Roy “Neal” Platt, Ph.D., is a computational biologist specializing in the population genetics of parasites and pathogen surveillance. Currently, he is using whole genome, population-level datasets to examine hybridization between a human schistosome parasite (Schistosoma haematobium) and cattle schistosome (S. bovis) and blood flukes. The results from these studies have shown that parasite traits may be transferred (introgressed) between species with direct implications for human health.
Dr. Platt is also working on new tools to identify zoonotic pathogens in wild animals. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of animal tissues that have been collected over the last century have been archived in natural history collections. Each tissue represents a data point in time that can tell us about the abundance and diversity of different parasites and help us to understand zoonotic transmission of pathogens. Dr. Platt earned his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University. He joined Texas Biomed in 2018.