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College of Veterinary Medicine

CORE - Staff

Shakirat AdetunjiShakirat Adetunji DVM, MS, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
sadetunji@vet.k-state.edu

Dr. Shakirat received her DVM from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She then received her MS and PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. Her PhD research focused on host-pathogen molecular interaction during pregnancy and the associated adverse outcome. Her research interests are in zoonotic infectious diseases and immunopathology, particularly in understanding the pattern of immune responses and mechanisms of morphological changes caused by infectious disease agents and toxins. Her research is currently focused on the immune pathogenesis of Japanese Encephalitis Virus infection in mouse and pig models, as well as the biologic effects of novel sorghum phenolic compounds.

dixonAndrea Dixon, PhD
Research Associate
aldixon@vet.k-state.edu

Andrea received her PhD from the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University, where she focused on population genetics and the evolutionary mechanisms constraining species distributions. She then went on to work as a post-doctoral researcher at Rothamsted Research, using next generation sequencing data to investigate the population genetic structure of a winter-wheat crop weed with known herbicide resistance. Her research interests include evolutionary genetics and applied research focusing on improving animal health and agriculture.

hanthornChristy Hanthorn, DVM, MS
Research Associate
cjhanthorn@vet.k-state.edu

Dr. Hanthorn grew up on a beef cow-calf farm in southern Iowa and received her DVM degree from Iowa State University in 2010. She was in private mixed animal practice in eastern Iowa for 2 years before returning to Iowa State University to complete a MS degree in 2014. Christy’s professional interests are beef cattle herd health and preventive medicine.  Her work includes assisting with development of the Secure Beef Supply plan as well as assisting with the management of various projects and academic coursework.

Roberta Hodges

Roberta Hodges
Project Consultant
roberta@vet.k-state.edu

Roberta is an alum of Kansas State University.  Her responsibilities include organizing and tracking activities for the research and training programs of the center; tracking and monitoring budgets; assisting with reporting and proposals; data management and administrative support for the CORE.  

Moreno-Torres photo

Karla I. Moreno-Torres, PhD, DVM, MSc
Postdoctoral Research Associate
kimoreno@vet.k-state.edu 

Karla received her PhD from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University, where she focused on the dynamics of infectious diseases at the wildlife-livestock interface. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher and an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow at the Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health and at the Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. She used experimental data to parameterize national models for epidemiological preparedness. Her research interests include modeling infectious diseases, emergency preparedness, applied epidemiology and ecology of infectious diseases.  

Roberta Hodges

Robert Mugabi, BVM, MSc, PhD
Associate Scientist
rmugabi@vet.k-state.edu

Robert completed a PhD researching molecular epidemiology of Staphylococcus spp. in dairy cattle at the University of Vermont. He was received a USDA SARE award to research Staphylococcus spp. causing cow mastitis, forming biofilms, and manifesting antimicrobial resistance, to improve milk quality and safety of artisanal and farmstead cheeses made in Vermont. Robert received a MSc in Infectious Disease Management from North Dakota State University and a BVM from Makerere University. Robert works with Dr. Victoriya Volkova on monitoring antimicrobial resistance in foodborne pathogens and indicator enteric bacteria, as a part of the U.S. National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring Program (NARMS).

Lauren WisnieskiLauren Wisnieski, MS, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
wisnies5@vet.k-state.edu

Lauren received her MS in Epidemiology from the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University, with a focus on breastfeeding and risk of metabolic syndrome in human adolescents. She then received her PhD from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, where she researched predictive modeling for transition cow diseases. Her research interests include epidemiology and animal disease modeling. 

 

GRADUATE STUDENTS (listed alphabetically): 

Joaquin BaruchJoaquin Baruch, DVM
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD, Pathobiology (Epidemiology)
jbaruch@vet.k-state.edu

Co-advised by Drs. David Renter and Natalia Cernicchiaro

Joaquin received his DVM from the University of the Republic in Uruguay in 2016.  He is interested in learning about the beef production system in United States and about food safety and epidemiological research in general.  Before coming to the U.S., he did research in epidemiology and animal welfare.  The pathobiology program and the research activities align well with the skills he wants to achieve during his graduate studies, as well as his future career in veterinary epidemiology.

Diana ValenciaDiana Dewsbury, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD, Pathobiology (Epidemiology)
dewsbury@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. Natalia Cernicchiaro

Diana received her MS from K-State in 2015 where she studied food safety epidemiology with Drs. Natalia Cernicchiaro and David Renter. Diana has since worked in industry as part of a global bovine biologics research and development team for three years. As a PhD candidate her focus will be primarily on food safety epidemiology. Her other professional interests include ruminant nutrition, beef production, and feedlot animal health. Upon completion of her PhD program, she plans to utilize her industry experience and academic education to design, conduct, and analyze experimental research trials to answer questions pertinent, applicable, and vital to the field and animal health industry as a whole.

Megan EwellMegan Ewell
Graduate Research Assistant
DVM/MS, Pathobiology (Epidemiology)
mewell@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. David Renter

Megan is pursuing concurrent DVM/MS degrees. She is a member of the DVM Class of 2019. Megan earned her BS in Agriculture (Animal Sciences and Industry) from K-State in 2015. Her general research interests lie in epidemiology.

kendra frasierKendra Frasier
PhD, Veterinary Pathobiology
kendrafrasier@k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. Michael Sanderson

Kendra works for the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health. Her research interests include a multi-disciplinary approach to animal disease traceability and crisis communication.

Tara Nath GaireTara Nath Gaire, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD, Pathobiology (Epidemiology)
tngaire@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. Victoriya Volkova

Tara’s research at K-State focuses on the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance. His previous research experience includes epidemiological studies of the bluetongue virus antibodies presence in ruminants (cattle, sheep and goat) of Nepal and prevalence of bovine viral diarrhea infection in dairy herds of Nepal as a Principal Researcher funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Feed the Future – Livestock Innovation Laboratory, led by Colorado State University.

Lucas HortonLucas Horton, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD, Pathobiology (Epidemiology)
lhorton@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. David Renter

Lucas received his MS degree in Animal Sciences and Industry from K-State in 2018, where he studied beef cattle nutrition. He spent one and a half years in industry as a Research Coordinator where he monitored commercial feedlot trials studying a ruminal probiotic. His doctoral research will focus on enhancing the beef production system through epidemiologic principles designed to generate practical, data-driven conclusions that are applicable in the field. He aims to support industry leaders with information that can be used to improve decision making in areas such as cattle health, production efficiency, nutrition, food safety, economics, and sustainability.

Victor IshengomaVictor Ishengoma, BVM
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD, Pathobiology (Epidemiology)
victorishengoma@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. Raghu Amachawadi

Victor received his BVM from Tanzania in 2018. He is currently a MS student in the Department of Clinical Sciences. Victor’s research focus is on antimicrobial resistance in food animal production systems.

Harith SalihHarith M. Salih, BVM, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
PhD, Clinical Sciences
hmssalih@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. Raghu Amachawadi

Harith received his BVM from Iraq in1987. His first MS in Microbiology from Iraq in 1999. Then, the second MS in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences from Kansas State University in 2010. Harith worked for 10 years in the industry as part of research and development team. He is currently a PhD student in the Department of Clinical Sciences. His current research focuses on antibiotic alternatives and liver abscesses in feedlot cattle.

Maryka SmithMaRyka Smith
Graduate Research Assistant
DVM/PhD, Pathobiology
marykasmith@vet.k-state.edu
Advised by Dr. Michael Sanderson

MaRyka is a concurrent DVM/PhD student working on modeling FMD control options including the use and value of traceability. She received her Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine in May 2020 from Kansas State University.