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College of Veterinary Medicine

Faculty Mentors & Research Interests

Name/DegreesDepartmentsResearch Interests
amachawadiRaghu Amachawadi, BVSc, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Clinical Sciences
Dr. Amachawadi’s research interests are in antimicrobial resistance among gut commensals and foodborne pathogens of swine and cattle production systems. Specifically, on understanding the mechanisms involved in the propagation and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance and on the role of non-antibiotic alternatives in contribution and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance in gut bacteria, and on microbiome and metagenomics analyses of the gut of cattle and swine. His research interests also include both aerobic and or anaerobic bacterial flora of liver abscesses and its prevention in feedlot cattle
apleyMike Apley, DVM. PhD, DACVCP
Clinical Sciences
Dr. Apley's research is focused on food animal pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of veterinary drugs. 
AsanoKatsura Asano, PhD
Dr. Asano studies regulation of protein biosynthesis, yeast genetics and biochemistry, and molecular and cell biology of insects and cancer. 
AzumaChieko Azuma, DVM, PhD, DACVR-RO, CPIA
Clinical Associate Professor,
Clinical Sciences
Dr. Azuma's research is focused on investigating the biological effects of radiation therapy and evaluation of treatment response in veterinary patients. She also has interests in palliative care and pain management, and research ethics and compliance.
BenkheBrad Benkhe, PhD
Dr. Behnke’s research involves manipulation of tumor microenvironments to enhance cancer therapies, cardiovascular regulation of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue perfusion with age, and pathological conditions including diabetes, heart failure, and mechanical failure. 
BossmannStefan Bossmann, PhD
University Distinguished Professor, ChemistryDr. Bossmann studies cell-mediated delivery of drugs to tumors. 
CainMary Cain, PhD
Dr. Cain studies the neurobiological basis of drug use using a rodent model. 
changNatalia Cernicchiaro, DVM MS PhD ncernic@vet.k-state.edu

Assistant Professor, 
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology

Dr. Cernicchiaro research focus is on veterinary epidemiology, food safety, zoonoses and production medicine. Research interests include the application of epidemiological concepts and methods, including multi-level modeling and knowledge synthesis and translation techniques to design, implement and interpret observational and experimental studies pertaining to food safety, zoonoses, arthropod-borne diseases and production medicine. Current research projects include understanding the distribution and determinants of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli non-O157, Salmonella and respiratory disease organisms in cattle and cattle production systems.

changKyeong-Ok Chang, DVM, MS, PhD
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology 
The development of therapeutic small molecules against various viruses including noroviruses, influenza virus and rotaviruses within vitro screening system and animal models such as (gnotobiotic) pigs and mice. 
CoetzeeHans Coetzee, BVSc, PhD
Professor and Head, Anatomy & Physiology  Dr. Coetzee’s research works to identify and validate biomarkers of pain in animal models and develop new analgesic drug regimens. 
CohnstaedtLee Cohnstaedt, PhD
USDA Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Adjunct Professor Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology Dr. Cohnstaedt’s research focuses on mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogens such as Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. He also studies methods to reduce biting midge (culicoides) transmitted epizootic hemorrhagic disease and bluetongue virus transmission on cervid farms. The lab uses both field and lab projects to determine the best methods to reduce disease transmission by mosquito and biting midge disease vectors.
ComerJeff Comer, PhD
Assistant Professor, Anatomy & Physiology Dr. Comer studies molecular simulation of interactions between biological molecules and synthetic nanostructures, with a particular focus on the thermodynamics and kinetics of binding, transmembrane transport of nanoparticles, and high-throughput screening. 
CoppSteven Copp, PhD
Assistant Professor, KinesiologyDr. Copp’s research interest is autonomic control of circulation during exercise in health and cardiovascular disease. 
davisElizabeth Davis, DVM, PhD
Professor and Head
Clinical Sciences
The primary focus of my research has involved mechanisms of innate immunity in horses. The current series of investigations involves examining the mechanism of immune activation with specific DNA sequences called CpG DNA. We are examining how bacterial DNA induces these responses and which sequences are the most effective at inducing immune activation. The ultimate goal of such investigations will be to use CpG DNA in combination with vaccine antigens so that we can safely and effectively make vaccines more powerful. Investigations will utilize cellular proliferation, cytokine gene expression and molecular cloning and sequencing assays.
sally davisSally Davis, DVM, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology

Dr. Davis studies host-pathogen interactions for agents including Influenza A virus, Rift Valley Fever Virus, and Pneumocystis spp, as well as development of in vitro systems that better modle aspects of in vivo infections.

delongRobert DeLong, MS, PhD
Associate Professor
Anatomy & Physiology

The group studies the interaction, stabilization and delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics and proteins by nanoparticles, with a particular interest in their anti-cancer, biochemical and immunological activity.

droletBarbara Drolet, MS, PhD
USDA Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Adjunct Professor Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology Dr. Drolet’s research focuses on insect-transmitted diseases of livestock and wildlife, such as bluetongue, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, vesicular stomatitis, and Rift Valley fever viruses. Her research includes developing arboviral immunodiagnostics, conducting animal pathogenesis and vector competence studies, investigating the molecular interactions between arboviruses and their mammalian and insect hosts, and determining the effects of insect vector saliva on mammalian immune responses and arbovirus infection following bite transmission.
flemingSherry Fleming, PhD
Dr. Fleming’s research focuses on the innate immune response and understanding the mechanisms of an excessive response during sterile injury such as surgery or pre-eclampsia. Importantly, we are determining the role of sex on the innate response and the ability of small therapeutics to inhibit the excessive response without inhibiting the total immune response. An additional project examines the ability of the small therapeutics to inhibit melanoma growth.
fongPeying Fong, PhD
Associate Professor
Anatomy & Physiology
Regulation of sodium, chloride and iodide transport by epithelial cells.
Ganta, RRoman Ganta, PhD
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Dr. Ganta studies Ehrlichia and Anaplasma vector-borne diseases, assessing pathogen molecular structure, host response, the effect of tick and host cell environments on the pathogens’ adaptation, mutagenesis, vaccine development, and developing molecular diagnostic tests.
GeisbrechtBrian Geisbrecht, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular BiophysicsDr. Geisbrecht studies Staphylococcus aureus with a multidisciplinary approach including innate immunity, molecular basis of infectious diseases and host-pathogen interactions, and structural biology and molecular recognition.
Geisbrecht, EErica Geisbrecht, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular BiophysicsDr. Geisbrecht studies formation and maintenance of muscle and heart tissue, biochemistry and molecular genetics of Drosophila, and cell signaling in development.
HardwidgePhil Hardwidge, PhD
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Dr. Hardwidge studies several virotypes of E. coli causing diarrhea and malnutrition in humans and livestock.
herrinBrian Herrin, DVM, PhD
Assistant Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Dr. Herrin’s primary research objectives are focused on the epidemiology and control of ticks and tick-borne diseases. Some of his recent interests are the epidemiology Lyme borreliosis in humans and dogs in North America, evaluation of diagnostic assays for tick-borne diseases, and surveillance of ticks and tick-borne diseases of horses. Although his research focus is on ticks, Dr. Herrin enjoys working with all parasites of veterinary importance through the diagnostic service and teaching/outreach opportunities.

hulbertLindsey Hulbert, BS, MS, PhD

Associate Professor
Animal Science
Dr. Hulbert's research is focused on the development and validation of automated technologies to monitor health and welfare of domestic animals, understanding the effects of early-life stressors on nutritive and non-nutritive oral behaviors and immunity in calves, improving resilience to stressors and immunocomptence through housing, management, and feeding strategies in calves and pigs, and determining biomarkers of stress and inflammation for predicting and identifying disease.

Maria JuganMaria Jugan, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Assistant Professor Clinical SciencesDr. Jugan’s research interests are in feline and canine gastrointestinal disease, nutrient malabsorption in feline IBD, alterations in enteroendocrine responses in IBD, and therapeutic manipulations (e.g. fecal transplantation, probiotics) of the GI microbiome and metabolome in both acute and chronic small animal enteropathies.

kimYunjeong Kim, DVM, PhD, DACVM

Associate Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology

Dr. Kim is interested in the development of therapeutic agents for small animal viral diseases including feline infectious peritonitis and feline calicivirus infection as well as understanding the role of host cellular proteases in viral pathogenesis.

KirkpatrickKim Kirkpatrick, PhD
University Distinguished Professor, Psychological SciencesDr. Kirkpatrick studies the role of timing and reward processes in determining impulsive and risky choice in rats.
kukanichButch KuKanich, DVM, PhD
Anatomy & Physiology
Evaluation and design of rational drug dosages through the use of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic studies.
kukanichKate KuKanich, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor
Clinical Sciences
One Health research including antimicrobial stewardship, hand hygiene, zoonotic diseases, fungal disease, UTIs, and opioids.
larsonRobert Larson, DVM, PhD
Clinical Sciences
Investigation of the role of disease in beef cattle on production efficiency, evaluation of disease intervention strategies.
LinZhoumeng Lin, PhD
Assistant Professor
Anatomy & Physiology
Dr. Lin’s research is focused on the development and application of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for veterinary drugs in food animals to predict tissue residues and withdrawal times.
Berlin LondonoBerlin Londono, PhD
Assistant Professor EntomologyDr. Londono’s research is focused on the characterization of mosquito salivary proteins as markers for disease risk and transmission dynamics, including human immune factors associated with Flavivirus transmission to the mosquito vectors, interactions among Dengue/Zika virus, mosquito midgut proteins and human immune factors as mechanisms for designing transmission-blocking vaccines, and study of pathogen – host interactions with potential for control and monitoring of vector-borne diseases. 
maWenjun Ma, MVSc, PhD
Associate Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Viral diseases of animals, with an emphasis on emerging zoonotic viral infections.
mamadovaLaman Mamedova, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
Dr. Mamedova’s research focus is to study metabolic physiology and pharmacology at the cellular level in order to apply findings to dairy cattle physiology, health, and nutrition.
meekinsJessica Meekins, DVM
Associate Professor
Clinical Sciences
Dr. Meekins’ clinical research interests include management of viral surface ocular diseases in cats and investigating comparative ophthalmology in exotic/non-domestic species.
MichelKristin Michel, PhD
Associate Professor,
Dr. Michel studies host-pathogen interactions important for malaria and arboviral disease transmission.
MuellerThomas Mueller PhD
Research Assistant ProfessorDr. Mueller studies evolutionary and developmental neuroscience, brain atlases, forebrain evolution, neural circuits of emotion, and amygdala-hypothalamic connectivity.
muschTimothy Musch, PhD
University Distinguished Professor
Anatomy & Physiology
The mechanisms associated with the large degree of exercise intolerance that develops in the chronic heart failure (CHF) syndrome. 
Dr. Waithaka MwangiWaithaka Mwangi, PhD
Professor in Diagnostic Medicine/PathobiologyMy research is focused on development of livestock vaccines, immune stimulants for adjuvant development, and antibody-based human and companion animal therapeutics.
nagarajaT.G. Nagaraja, BVSc, MVSc, PhD
University Distinguished Professor of Veterinary MicrobiologyMy research interest is in the field of Gut Microbiology of cattle and swine, particularly on the role of microbes in gut function and dysfunction.  Currently, my laboratory is involved in the following research areas: Foodborne pathogens, such as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli,Salmonella, and Campylobacter, and antimicrobial resistance of gut bacteria in cattle and swine; bacterial flora of liver abscesses, virulence factors and pathogenic mechanisms of Fusobacterium necrophorum, with the long term goal of developing an efficacious vaccine.
niederwerderMegan C. Niederwerder, DVM, PhD
Assistant Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Dr. Niederwerder's laboratory is focused on investigating viral diseases of swine, including the role of the microbiome in outcome following viral infection and the risks for viral introduction and transmission.
norohnaLeela Norohna, DVM, PhD

USDA Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Adjunct Professor Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology

Dr. Noronha studies the interactions of mammalian hosts, insect vectors, and viral pathogens involved in the transmission of arboviral diseases.  She currently focuses on emerging and re-emerging diseases that affect livestock, wildlife, and humans, including Japanese encephalitis and Rift Valley fever.
ParkYoonseong Park, PhD
Dr. Park studies arthropod signaling peptides and their receptors, signaling pathways for tick salivary secretion, and mechanisms of systemic RNA interference.
PickensCharles Pickens, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychological SciencesDr. Pickens studies how exposure to CNS depressants can lead to long-term alterations in the brain circuits involved in learning, memory, and decision making.

pooleDavid Poole, MS, PhD

University Distinguished Professor
Anatomy & Physiology
Pulmonary gas exchange, O2 transport and muscle microcirculation in health and determining the mechanistic bases for dysfunction in chronic disease (i.e., emphysema, heart failure, diabetes) and also aging. 

PrakashPunit Prakash, PhD

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer EngineeringDr. Prakash’s research is focused on developing technologies for enabling precise image-guided medical and cancer interventions, including microwave thermal therapy with MRI guidance. 
renterDavid Renter, DVM, PhD
Professor, and Director
Center for Outcomes Research and Epidemiology,
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Dr. Renter’s research emphasizes the application and extension of epidemiologic principles and methods to enhance health and disease management.  His outcomes-based research enables valid data-driven decisions to improve animal health/well-being, food safety, production efficiency, and economic viability of health systems.
ReifKathryn Reif, MSPH, PhD
Assistant Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
My laboratory is interested in ticks and tick-borne diseases. We use a combination of in vitro and in vivo experimental models to study the determinants of pathogen infection in the tick vector, and how these infection determinants ultimately effect pathogen transmission from the tick. Projects in the lab range from basic to applied research, including: examining mechanisms of pathogen entry into tick host cells, ecological drivers of bovine anaplasmosis, and evaluation of novel tick repellents. The tick-borne pathogens we commonly work with are Anaplasma spp, Ehrlichia spp. Rickettsia spp, and Francisella spp.
richtJuergen, Richt, DVM, PhD
Regents Distinguished Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
Emerging zoonotic diseases, in particular influenze, rift valley, and prion diseases.
sandersonMichael Sanderson, MS, DVM
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology

The broad focus of my research is the application of Epidemiologic principles, Analytical Methods, Risk Assessment and Simulation Modeling to disease risk and facilitate decision making in Beef Production systems.  Much of this research has focused on the epidemiology and ecology of beef safety and security particularly related to E. coli O157 and other shiga-toxin producing E. coli.  We also have potential risk assessment and modeling projects in Bovine Respiratory Disease, BVD, and Foot and Mouth Disease.

schermerhornThomas Schermerhorn, VMD
Clinical Sciences
Comparative glucose metabolism and diabetes.
schultzBruce Schultz, PhD
Anatomy & Physiology
Defining the physiological mechanisms of epithelial ion transport in selected tissues and species.
ShamesStephanie Shames, PhD
Assistant Professor, BiologyDr. Shames studies Legionella pneumophila, specifically host-pathogen interactions, bacterial pathogenesis, and cellular microbiology.
shiJishu Shi, DVM, MS, PhD
Anatomy & Physiology
Dr. Jishu Shi’s research programs focus on the development of novel vaccine technologies for animal infectious diseases.  His team is currently evaluating novel adjuvants and strategies for vaccines targeting porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus,Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, swine influenza virus, porcine circovirus, and avian influenza virus.  In addition, his team is also investigating the molecular mechanisms of IL-1beta release from macrophages and the role of IL-1beta in macrophage-cancer stem cell interactions.
SilverKris Silver, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, EntomologyDr. Silver researches the physiological and molecular interactions between insects and insecticides.
shiNora Springer, DVM, Diplomate ACVP
Assistant Professor
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology
My research focuses on the tumor microenvironment, specifically cancer cell interactions with extracellular matrix.  My focus is in two major areas, 1) how extracellular matrix-tumor cell interactions affects lymphoma and leukemia trafficking and tissue infiltration and 2) how structural changes to adipose tissue during obesity promotes the development of cancer.
tamuraMasaaki Tamura, DVM, PhD
Anatomy & Physiology
My research focuses on cancer therapy and chemoprevention, specifically immune checkpoint blockade therapy, gene therapy, and nanoparticle-based chemotherapy for lung cancer.  We also study natural product-based therapy and chemoprevention for lung, colon, breast and pancreatic cancer.  Our research involves both in vitro cell culture and mouse study.
DanaDr. Dana Vanlandingham, MS, PhD
Associate Professor,
Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology

My research is focused on viruses transmitted by mosquitoes; the interactions between the virus, mosquito vector, and vertebrate host. Our multidisciplinary research encompasses both basic molecular virology and applied research: novel vaccine development/evaluation, diagnostics, and virus transmission potential in vectors and hosts. Current research projects include: Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses.

ViscardiDr. Abbie Viscardi, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Anatomy & Physiology

My research focus is on animal behavior and welfare. I am currently studying analgesia use in piglets to alleviate surgical castration and tail docking pain.

weissMark Weiss, BS, PhD
Anatomy & Physiology
Dr. Weiss' research focus is on stem cell biotechnology. His lab successfully produced various stem cell lines such as rat embryonic stem cells and cells derived from umbilical chord or other tissues with the intent of using this technology to advance cellular therapy and regenerative medicine. His lab is focused upon producing promising cellular therapeutics for regenerative medicine. 
whiteBrad White, MS, DVM
Professor and Director of Beef Cattle Institute,
Clinical Sciences
Preventative and therapeutic options for cattle health, primary area of emphasis in bovine respiratory disease.
wilsonWilliam Wilson, PhD
USDA Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, Adjunct Professor Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology 

Dr. Wilson’s research focuses on using molecular evolution, biochemical and genomic approaches to understand the interactions of arboviruses with their mammalian and invertebrate hosts. This work has also led to the development of diagnostic and control strategies. His current research is directed toward developing early detection/characterization and countermeasures for arboviruses affecting livestock and wildlife.

YangZhilong Yang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biology 

Dr. Yang studies viral and host cell gene expression during viral infection, specifically poxvirus.

ZinovyevaAnna Zinovyeva, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biology Dr. Zinovyeva studies post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, RNA biology, and microRNA biogenesis and function.
ZolkiewskaAnna Zolkiewska, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Dr. Zolkiewska studies the role of metalloprotease ADAM12 in breast tumor development, metastasis, recurrence, and response to therapy.

Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Sciences