FAZD Fellows 2009
These highly competitive and prestigious fellowships offered from the FAZD Center at Texas A&M numbered10 awards for the year 2009. Four of these awards came to UCD graduate students:
DVM MPVM PhD candidate Epidemiology
A Risk Assessment of BrucellaTransmission Among Bison, Elk, and Cattle in the Northern Greater Yellowstone Area
"Critical questions of the risk of interspecies disease transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface have yet to be addressed. The development of risk frameworks using a unique GYA model will be critical in developing prevention and mitigation strategies for /Brucella/ and other high-consequence foreign animal and/or zoonotic disease incursions. This risk analysis framework is relevant, not only to brucellosis, but to other diseases with the potential for transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface."
DVM PhD candidate Epidemiology
Land to sea pathogen transmission in coastal California
"My interest in zoonotic disease led me to an interdisciplinary research team at the University of California, Davis studying the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. As wild and domestic cats are the only known hosts that shed this parasite into the environment, disease due to Toxoplasma in threatened California sea otters has sparked concern about potential land-to-sea pathogen transmission. As an epidemiology graduate student, I study the terrestrial transmission of Toxoplasma in animals ranging from wild rodents and feral cats to mountain lions. We hope that understanding the land-based dynamics of this parasite, which can infect a wide variety of animals as well as humans, will help to reduce the risk of exposure in people and sensitive wildlife species."
LIZ VANWORMERdefinition of this area
DVM PhD student Epidemiology
Leishmania: an emerging zoonotic disease affecting humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife
"Leishmaniasis is an emerging vector-borne zoonotic disease that exemplifies the One Health concept, affecting humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife. Wildlife hosts of leishmaniasis include rodents, marsupials, and wild canids; these sylvatic reservoirs are often asymptomatic. In order to take a proactive approach toward the possible expansion of leishmaniasis in our country, it is imperative that we learn more about the disease biology with respect to wildlife reservoirs, vector competence and transmission, climate and landscape changes, and disease prevention. The goal of my research will be to investigate these and other relevant disease factors, as well as to integrate an educational component for the local communities in which I conduct my research. My field research site is pending but will likely be in the Amazon forests of Peru and/or Brazil. "
PhD student Epidemiology
Influenza: the animal to human model of a zoonotic disease
My research interests are on modeling disease transmission and examining immunological risk factors for disease development of animal-to-human influenza infections. With the ease of international travel, pandemics can be generated with increased spread and magnitude. The ultimate goal is to have global surveillance data to be fitted into the disease transmission model for humans. One world-One health.