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Associate Dean

University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-5735 College of Mathematics & Science HOH 206 , Box 177


Bob Brennan Jr., Ph.D., is a professor of biology and is currently serving as the associate dean for the College of Mathematics and Science. He was born and raised in Emmetsburg, Iowa, which is a small farming community in northwest Iowa. Brennan is one of five children. His father was a carpenter and his mother worked as a nurse at the county hospital. He attended the University of South Dakota where he played football and received a B.S. in biology. He earned his M.S. in veterinary medical sciences (microbiology) from Louisiana State University and Ph.D. in medical sciences (microbiology) from Texas A&M Health Sciences Center.  Prior to coming to UCO in 2009, Brennan worked at 3M as a microbiology specialist in their Medical Division. His wife, Martha, is the Head Men's and Women's Track and Field Coach at Southern Nazarene University. They have four daughters; Grace, Eve, Ivy and Bella. 

Education and Certifications

B.S. University of South Dakota
M.S. Louisiana State University
Ph.D. Texas A&M University (HSC)



2021 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Associate Dean, College of Mathematics and Science

2020-21 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Interim Associate Dean, College of Mathematics and Science

2018 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Professor and Chair, Department of Biology

2017-18 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology

2015-17 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Biology

2013-15 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Associate Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Biology

2009-13 University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK., Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

2007-09 Chippewa Valley Technical College, River Falls, WI., Adjunct Lecturer, Life Sciences Department

2005-09 3M Corporation, Medical Division, St. Paul, MN., Microbiology Research Specialist, Diagnostics Department

2004-05 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of  Microbiology

1997-99 Texas A&M University, College Station, TX., Research Associate, Department of Animal Science

1996 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Teaching Assistant, Veterinary Medicine

1993-97 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA., Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Science


Classes Taught

  • BIO 1114 General Biology
  • BIO 1211 University Life Sciences Lab
  • BIO 1204 Biology for Majors: Principles
  • BIO 3054 Microbiology for Majors and Laboratory
  • BIO 4515/5515 Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology and Laboratory


The primary focus of my lab is to investigate microbial pathogenesis, which includes projects to study the role of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in chronic wound pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance, and the prevalence and distribution of ticks and tick-borne pathogens.  During my 12 years at UCO, I have had numerous students involved in research, scholarly, and creative activities, which have led to a number of student co-authored peer reviewed publications and presentations at local, regional, and national conferences. 

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

Student names are in italics

  1. Russell Smalley IV, Haris Zafar, John Land, Asma Samour, Dylan Hance, and Robert E. Brennan. Detection of Borrelia miyamotoi and Powassan Virus Lineage II (Deer Tick Virus) from Odocoileus virginianus harvested Ixodes scapularis in Oklahoma. 2022. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. Volume 22(4):209-216. doi:10.1089/vbz.2021.0057.
  2. Small, Mariah and Robert Brennan. Detection of Rickettsia amblyommatis and Ehrlichia chaffeensis From Amblyomma americanum Inhabiting Two Urban Parks in Oklahoma. 2021. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. Volume 21(5):385-387.
  3. David F. Mullins and Bob Brennan Jr. Pathology and Microbiology for Mortuary Science. Second edition. Oklahoma City (OK): Funeral Service education Resource Center. 2021. ISBN: 978-0-9979261-7-0.
  4. Anh K. Lam, Hannah Panlilio, Jennifer Pusavat, Cassandra L. Wouters, Erika L. Moen, Robert E. Brennan, and Charles V. Rice. Expanding the spectrum of antibiotics capable of killing multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 2020 ChemMedChem. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.202000239.
  5. Mariah M. Small, Sean M. Laverty, Chad B. King and Robert E. Brennan. Tick species establishment in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, U.S.A., identified by seasonal sampling in residential and non-residential sites. 2019. J. Vector Ecol. 44 (1): 105-111. doi.10.111/jvec.12334.
  6. Baalman, R., Y. Shang, J.R.  Johnston, M. Fakhr, and R.E. Brennan.  Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in students at the University of Central Oklahoma. 2018. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 98:118-126.
  7. Matthew Nichols, Wayne Lord, Michelle Haynie, Robert Brennan, Victoria Jackson, and Wendy Monterroso. 2018. First Report of Trypanosoma cruzi in a Mexican Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) in Oklahoma. J Wildl Dis. 2018. doi:10.7589/2018-04-095.
  8. Amy G. Briggs, Robert E. Brennan, Nancy Boury, John Buchner, Rachel Horak, Lee E. Hughes, Sue Katz-Amburn, Maria J. Massimelli, Ann McDonald, Todd P. Primm, Ann C. Smith, Ann M. Stevens, Sunny. B. Yung, and Timothy D. Paustian. Development, Validation and Application of the Microbiology Concept Inventory. 2017.  JMBE. 18(3).doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1320
  9. Amy G. Briggs, Lee E. Hughes, Robert Brennan, John Buchner, Rachel Horak, Sue Katz Amburn, Ann McDonald, Todd P Primm, Ann C. Smith, Ann M. Stevens, Sunny Yung, Timothy Paustian.  Concept Inventory Development Reveals Common Student Misconceptions about Microbiology. 2017. JMBE. 18(3). doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1319
  10. Bragg A., M. Braden, K. Ceasar, A. Coleman, P. Drevets, J. Fleming, Q. Gorges, J. Herwig, A. Khabbab, J. Proffer, S. Ramsey, E. Shackelford, V. Smith, C. Smith, B. Yuill, and R.E. Brennan. Impact of hand washing instructions on hand washing practices at the University of Central Oklahoma. 2016. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 96:109-114.
  11. Brennan R.E., W. Caire, N. Pugh, S. Chapman, A.H. Robbins, and D. Akiyoshi. Examination of Bats in Western Oklahoma for Antibodies against Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the Causative Agent of White-Nose Syndrome. 2015. Southwest Naturalist. 60(2-3):145-150.
  12. Brennan R.E., K. Kiss, R. Baalman, and J.E. Samuel. Cloning, Expression, and Characterization of a Coxiella burnetii Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase. 2015. BMC Microbiology. 15(99). doi:10.1186/s12866-015-0430-8.
  13. Tankersley, A., M.B. Frank, M. Bebak, and R. Brennan. Early effects of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm secreted products on inflammatory responses of human epithelial keratinocytes. 2014. Journal of Inflammation. 11(17).doi:10.1186/1476-9255-11-17.
  14. Brennan, R.E. and S. Everman. Antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli isolated from a stream near two wastewater treatment facilities in Edmond, Oklahoma. 2012. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 92:59-64.
  15. Hyland, K., R. Brennan, S. Olmstead, E. Rojas, E. Murphy, C. Herst, B. Wang, and P. Cleary.  The Early Interferon Response of Nasal Associated Lymphoid Tissue to Streptococcal Infection. 2009. FEMS Immunol. Med. Microbiol. 55:422-431.
  16. Brennan, R. E., K. Russell, G. Q. Zhang, and J. E. Samuel.  Both iNOS and NADPH oxidase contribute to control of virulent phase I Coxiella burnetii infections.  2004. Infect. Immun. 72:6666-6675.
  17. Brennan, R. E. and J. E. Samuel.  Evaluation of Coxiella burnetii antibiotics susceptibilities by Real-Time PCR Assay. 2003.  J. Clin. Microbiol. 41:1869-1874.
  18. Lopez-Gonzalez, V., P. S. Murano, R. E. Brennan, and E. A. Murano.  Sensory evaluation of ground beef patties irradiated by gamma rays versus electron beam under various packaging conditions.  2000.  Journal of Food Quality.  23:195-204.
  19. Murano, E. A., P.S. Murano, R. E. Brennan, K. Shenoy, and R.G. Moreira. Application of high hydrostatic pressure to eliminate Listeria monocytogenes from fresh pork sausage. 1999. Journal of Food Protection. 62: 5:480-483.
  20. Lopez-Gonzalez, V., P. S. Murano, R. E. Brennan, and E. A. Murano. Influence of various commercial packaging conditions on survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to irradiation by electron beam versus gamma rays. 1999. Journal of Food Protection. 62: 1:10-15.
  21. Brennan, R. E., R.E. Corstvet, and D.B. Paulson. Antibody responses to Pasteurella haemolytica 1:A and three of its outer membrane proteins in serum, nasal secretions, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from calves. 1998. AJVR. 59: 6:727-732.
  22. Brennan, R. E., R. E. Corstvet, and J. W. McBride. A simplified method for isolating outer membrane proteins from Pasteurella haemolytica A1. 1997. J. Micro. Methods. 29:201-206.
  23. McBride, J. W., R. E. Corstvet, M. A. Dietrich, C. M. Berry, R. E. Brennan, B. C. Taylor, J. L. Stott, and B. I. Osburn. Memory and CD8+ are the predominant bovine bronchoalveolar lymphocyte phenotypes. 1997. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 58:55-62.
  24. Dawson, J. E., C. K. Warner, S. A. Ewing, S. R. Telford, R. E. Corstvet, R. E. Brennan, and J. G. Olson.  Fingerprinting of Ehrlichia species by repetitive element polymerase chain reaction. 1997.  Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 57: 1:109-114.
  25. Gaunt, S. D., R. E. Corstvet, C. M. Berry, and R. E. Brennan. Isolation of Ehrlichia canis from dogs following subcutaneous inoculation. 1994. J. Clin. Micro. 34:1429-1432.

Professional and Community Involvement

Professional Societies

American Society for Microbiology              

American Society for Rickettsiology

Oklahoma Academy of Sciences

Sigma Xi

Honors and Awards

2014                University of Central Oklahoma College of Math and Science Vanderford Distinguished Teacher Award

2013                Teaching Merit Award, UCO

2012, 2014      MERLOT House Cup

2009                Genesis Grant, 3M

2008                3M Circle of Technical Excellence and Innovation award

2005                NPA travel grant, National Postdoctoral Association

2004                ASM Corporate Activities student travel grant                     

2003                NIH Predoctoral Fellowship, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

1994                Research associate of the year, Department of Veterinary Science, Louisiana State University

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