SMB Faculty Profiles

Viveka Vadyvaloo

Viveka Vadyvaloo

Associate Professor

Phone: 509-335-6043


Affiliated Organizations

  • American Society for Microbiology (member)
  • Center for Health in the Human Ecosytem, University of Idaho (member)



Dr Vadyvaloo was born and raised on the East coast of South Africa where the waters are warm due to the warm Mozambique current in the Indian ocean.  In early 2003 she obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Stellenbosch on the West coast of South Africa where the cold Benguela current waters are home to many great white sharks.  She then moved to the US for postdoctoral training in the lab of Ronald Kaback at Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UCLA from 2003-2004 where she studied biochemical and structural aspects of membrane transport proteins that facilitate their activity.  She continued further postdoctoral training at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIH/NIAID.  Here she first conducted research in pathogenesis of Staphylococci in the lab of Michael Otto, and then from 2005-2008 she joined Joe Hinnebusch’s lab where she began research in understanding the Yersinia pestis – flea vector interaction.  She was hired as an Assistant Professor at the Paul G Allen School for Global Animal Health in 2010.

Personal Statement

As far as a career in science goes I cannot say that there was any defining experience that inspired me to pursue this career path; perhaps during my formative years I seemed to have a greater aptitude for science compared to many of my peers – then pursuing studies and a career in science just happened! I don’t have any hobbies but I do enjoy running to keep fit and de-stress, scratch cooking, and hiking when the opportunity presents itself. What else is in my life other than research? A big fluffy grey doodle-dog, of course!!

Education and Training

  • 2009-2010: Research Assistant Professor, Washington State University, Pullman WA
  • 2004-2008:Postdoctoral fellow, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH
  • 2003-2004:Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UCLA
  • 2000-2003: PhD, Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch
  • 1997-1999: MS, Molecular Microbiology, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
  • 1996: BS (Hons), Microbiology, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
  • 1995: BS (Microbiology, Human Physiology), University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban-Westville
Publications on PubMed

Select Publications

  • Benavides-Montaño JA, Vadyvaloo V. (2017) Yersinia pestis resists predation by Acanthamoeba castellanii and exhibits prolonged intracellular survival.  Applied Environmental Microbiology 83(13). pii: e00593-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00593-17. Print 2017 Jul 1. PMID: 28455335 PMCID: MC5478993
  • Vadyvaloo V and Hinz AK. (2015) A LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulator, RovM, Senses Nutritional Cues Suggesting that It Is Involved in Metabolic Adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the Flea Gut. PloS One. 10(9):e0137508. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137508 PMID: 26348850 PMCID: PMC4562620
  • Vadyvaloo V, Viall AK, Jarrett CO, Hinz AK, Sturdevant DE, Hinnebusch BJ. (2015) Role of the PhoP-PhoQ gene regulatory system in adaptation of Yersinia pestis to environmental stress in the flea digestive tract. Microbiology 161(6):1198-1210 PMID: 25804213 PMCID: PMC4635514
  • Rempe KA, Hinz AK, Vadyvaloo V. (2012) Hfq regulates biofilm gut blockage that facilitates flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis. J Bacteriol. 194(8):2036-40. PMID: 22328669 PMCID: PMC3318476
  • Vadyvaloo V, Jarrett C, Sturdevant DE, Sebbane F, Hinnebusch BJ. (2010) Transit through the flea vector induces a pretransmission innate immunity resistance phenotype in Yersinia pestis. PLoS Pathog 6(2):e1000783. PMID: 20195507 PMCID: PMC2829055


Washington State University