He was born May 12, 1959 in Osborne KS. A 1977 graduate of Waconda East High School, in Cawker City KS. It was in high school that he met and started dating Joan (Winkel) and they were married in 1979. Following graduation from high school in May of 1977, he attended Kansas State University majoring in Wildlife Biology. He was accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in the fall of 1980. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1982 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1984.

After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine, They moved with their son Shawn, to Beloit KS, where in May of 1984 he worked as a mixed animal practitioner with Dr. Charles Luke at the Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital. In August 1985, they moved to Wichita where he was employed as a small animal practitioner at Bogue Animal Hospital West.

Then in August 1986 he was accepted as a Graduate Research Assistant in Veterinary Parasitology at Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, IN. in August 1986. While at Purdue his graduate studies included both Veterinary Parasitology and Medical/Veterinary Entomology. With his primary research focus being the biology of fleas infesting dogs and cats. At Purdue University he earned both a Masters Degree (May 1988) and a PhD (May 1990) in Veterinary Parasitology. It was while a graduate student at Purdue that the veterinary students started calling him “Dr. Flea”.

Upon completion of the graduate program he accepted an offer from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and in June of 1990 Mike, Joan, Shawn, and daughter Sarah, moved to Manhattan KS.

At the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University he heads a research team that has been involved in three areas: 1) biology and control of fleas and ticks infesting dogs and cats, 2) investigations into the interactions and disease transmission of urban wildlife with domestic pets and humans and 3) diagnosis and control of gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and cats.

Mike was promoted to Full Professor in the Department Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1999 and was named a University Distinguished Professor in 2011. In addition, he is an adjunct professor in the Department of Entomology, Kansas State University and the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, Purdue University.

His research has changed the veterinary profession’s understanding of flea and tick ecology. In addition, his research team has developed novel methods for evaluating flea and tick control products and proposed new concepts that revolutionized flea and tick control.

The flea and tick research has received both National and International media recognition with Mike appearing in segments on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, the Discovery Channel, Mona Lisa Productions in France, and televised appearances in Canada, England, and Spain, and interviews and articles in numerous newspapers and magazines.

Between 1988 and 2017 these various research efforts have resulted in over 140 published journal articles and 13 book chapters, a pictorial atlas of veterinary parasitology and being invited to lecture in over 20 countries. Dr. Dryden has served on numerous national, international, and university committees. Including serving as a board member on the International Ectoparasite Symposium, the National Conference on Urban Entomology and was a founding member of the Companion Animal Parasite Council.


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