Dr. William Witola, an associate professor in Pathobiology, joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015.
When did you begin working at the College of Veterinary Medicine?
I joined the college in August of 2015, as an assistant professor.
Describe your role at the college.
I am a faculty member in the Department of Pathobiology. My primary roles include teaching parasitology in the veterinary curriculum, conducting biomedical research, and training and mentoring research graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and summer research students (DVM and undergraduate).
My research focus is on protozoan and nematode parasites of medical and veterinary significance, with the goal of identifying, characterizing, and validating novel molecular targets for anti-parasite drug and vaccine development, as well as understanding host innate immune mechanisms that are important in resistance to parasitic infections. I currently have active research projects on testing our newly discovered lead-compounds for efficacy in treating cryptosporidiosis, helminthiasis, and heartworm.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love witnessing my research students and fellows attain research project milestones that define their research career trajectories.
Complete this sentence: My most memorable day at work was…
… when I gave a lecture on parasites of pets and livestock to visiting high school students in the 4-H Illini Summer Academy. The lecture appeared to have intrigued the students so much that 90% of the class vowed to become veterinarians so as to take care of the health of animals.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy tending to the flower garden and doing DIY projects at our home. I also enjoying taking sight-seeing road-trips.
What is something your co-workers may be surprised to know about you?
When I was a bit younger and energetic, I used to be my own auto-mechanic in my spare time!
What is one thing on your bucket list?
To do a bit more traveling to visit Caribbean islands and experience the Caribbean culture and cuisine.
Do you have a favorite restaurant or place in the Champaign/Urbana area?
The Champaign-Urbana area is very interesting to me in that there is a lot of restaurants that offer diverse ethnic cuisines. Because of this, I love going to a different restaurant every time in order to get to experience a diverse range of cuisines.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Every evening I spend at least an hour on cardio, strength, and boxing workouts.
Do you have any pets?
We have one black cat called Azura, who is my wife’s cat. We also have ten koi fish in our backyard pond.