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SVRG Alumni


Katelyn was born and raised in Colorado and completed her BS in Microbiology at CSU. Before joining the SVRG, she worked a mycobacteria research labs on campus where she found a passion for lab work. Her VandeWoude lab research involved feline leukemia viral infections within a hybrid leopard domestic cat colony. Katelyn’s interests are in infectious disease and epidemiology. Now graduated, she hopes to continue on to become a medical laboratory scientist and gain a MS. 

Sarah Bevins, PhD

Dr. Bevins went from Flagstaff, Arizona to Bar Harbor, Maine where she completed her undergraduate degree in Ecology at College of the Atlantic. She then earned her PhD at Colorado State University before joining the VandeWoude lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Her work in the VandeWoude lab focused on managing and analyzing pathogen data from overlapping populations of wild and domestic felid species. She is currently a Research Scientist at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center. Her research interests include emerging wildlife pathogens and the role of non-native wildlife and disease vectors in pathogen transmission and persistence. She’s also been known to occasionally wield a badger.

Simona Kraberer, PhD

Originally from New Zealand Simona joined the VandeWoude lab at Colorado State University as a Postdoctoral Researcher in 2015 to work on a NSF funded project investigating infectious diseases in the North American Puma. Her main focus in this project was to explore the genetic diversity, evolutionary dynamics and movement of three feline viruses (Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), Feline Foamy virus (FFV) and Feline Leukemia virus (FeLV) infecting the Puma and other felid species . Now Simona is an assistant research scientist in the Varsani lab at Arizona State University where she works on understanding viral evolution in a wide range of viruses in animals, plants, and various environmental samples.

Carmen Ledesma Feliciano, DVM, PhD

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen obtained her Animal Science bachelors degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. She obtained her veterinary degree at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in the Public/Corporate track. Right afterwards she entered the combined Comparative Medicine Residency/PhD program at CSU, where she joined the SVRG lab to work with Feline Foamy Virus. Carmen now works in Dr. Eric Poeschla’s laboratory with research work focusing on feline and mouse transgenic models for HIV and autoimmunity at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Justin Lee, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Justin was born and raised in Idaho, then moved to New Orleans, LA where he completed his undergraduate degree (B.S. – biochemistry) at Tulane University. After graduating from Tulane, Justin worked for the Tulane University Center for Bioenvironmental Research. Prior to beginning the DVM/PhD program at CSU in 2007, Justin (knowing he was about to commit 8 more years of his life in school) spent 4 years working, playing, and traveling around the world. Justin's research focuses on the ecology and evolution of feline immunodeficiency virus in bobcats and mountain lions. Justin is passionate about learning how to generate and utilize genetic data to answer ecological questions, specifically those focusing on the health, disease, and conservation of wildlife. Away from school Justin enjoys outdoor living, campfires, and enjoying local beer wherever it is he may be traveling

Jennifer Malmberg, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Dr. Malmberg was born in Colorado but spent the majority of her childhood as a sports-crazed tomboy in rural Nebraska.  In pursuit of an intellectual challenge and a means of understanding the natural world, Jenn moved to Fort Collins with high hopes of going to vet school at CSU. Jenn became Dr. Malmberg in May of 2013, graduating from vet school with a strengthened desire to further explore mechanisms of disease and the ecological drivers of host-pathogen interactions. Dr. Malmberg completed her combined PhD and residency in anatomic pathology program in late 2018. Her work in the VandeWoude lab was focused on the ecology and evolution of naturally occurring retroviruses in free-ranging felids including pumas and bobcats. Dr. Malmberg is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Sciences at University of Wyoming. She splits her time between research, teaching, and diagnostic pathology at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.

Craig Miller, DVM, PhD, DACVP

 Dr. Miller received both his BS in Microbiology and his DVM from Colorado State University. During his undergraduate and veterinary studies, Dr. Miller worked under Drs. Helle Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Randall Basaraba, and Sue VandeWoude on various research projects that studied iron chelation mechanisms of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and pathologic features of neuroAIDS development in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infected cats. Following vet school, Dr. Miller entered the combined PhD/Anatomic Pathology residency program at CSU. His PhD research was centered on the study of complex interactions between FIV and the immune system, with specific interest in transmission mechanisms and oral pathogenesis, novel vaccination strategies, immunomodulatory effects, and features of oral mucosal immunity during viral infection. Dr. Miller is now an Assistant Professor and Anatomic Pathologist at Oklahoma State University 

Esther Musselman, MS

Esther Musselman came to Fort Collins to complete a BS in Animal Science at CSU and then decided to pursue a Master’s degree as well. She completed a MS in Environmental Health with a Specialization in Toxicology at Colorado State in 2013. She started out in animal care in the Retrovirus & Prion Research Lab during her masters. Esther worked as a Research Associate between the Vandewoude, Hoover and Mathiason laboratories from 2013-2017. She coordinated the in vivo studies for the Vandewoude Lab and managed animal care. Esther purposed her dream of going to vet school in 2018 and currently is working to complete her DVM at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Jordan Powers

Jordan Powers pursued a Bachelor's degree in Microbiology from CSU after growing up in Fort Collins. Jordan joined the team at SVRG to conduct a project centered around characterizing the spread of viruses in a privately held hybrid domestic cat (Felis catus)-leopard cat (Prionailarus bengalensis) colony. Interactions between endogenous and exogenous Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in the colony and risk factors for infection and disease spread were also evaluated in this study. Currently, Jordan is a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researching methods to construct virus like particles using the envelope proteins of viruses in the family Flaviviridae.

Britta Wood, MS, PhD

Britta was a PhD student in the VandeWoude Laboratory between 2009-2013. Her research included the development and validation of multiplex microsphere immunoassays for evaluating cytokine and antibody responses of domestic cats, and then using these assays to investigate the immune response of domestic cats infected with host-adapted and/or non-host adapted (cross-species) lentivirus strains. Since graduating from CSU, Britta has been working in the World Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-Mouth Disease at The Pirbright Institute, UK.

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