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The VandeWoude Laboratory


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The VandeWoude Laboratory studies a variety of agents that infect domestic and nondomestic cats, most predominantly Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

The mission of the VandeWoude Lab is to:

Train undergraduate, graduate, pre- and post-DVM students, and post-doctoral fellows in modern techniques in molecular virology, with emphasis on experimental design, data interpretation, and accurate and fluent reporting of results; Strive to continuously develop new methodologies to apply to the research process; Facilitate productive and collaborative interactions between SVRG lab members and collaborators both internal and external to CSU; Extrapolate findings to whole animal and population health, in vivo relevance, and community/ecological impacts; Challenge existing dogma with an open mind and thoughtful approach; Generate enthusiasm and appreciation for the impact of well-considered scientific approaches on human and animal health and well-being; and, Provide a supportive, lively, challenging, cooperative and fun environment for scientific investigations in complementary disciplines.


The aims of the major research projects under investigation in the SVRG (Sue VandeWoude Research Group) include:

  • Host and viral mechanisms contributing to lentiviral pathogenicity
  • Features of lentiviral adaptation and evolution relative to cross-species transmission and adaptation
  • Host intracellular restriction mechanisms and innate immunity during retroviral infection
  • Intra-host disease dynamics relating to FIV pathogenicity—i.e. viral cell targets and tissue level impacts that predict/effect disease outcome
  • Relating peripheral blood cell characteristics to immunological responses and disease outcomes
  • Mechanisms of lentiviral-associated neoplasia
  • Novel approaches for lentiviral vaccine development and therapeutic intervention
  • Development of innovative approaches and new diagnostic assays for study of host and viral kinetics and pathogenesis
Ecology of Infectious Disease
  • Understanding how urbanization, habitat fragmentation and sympatry with domestic cats influence disease dynamics in bobcats and pumas
  • Exploring modes of pathogen transmission that result in wildlife exposure to human and domestic animal diseases, and domestic animal and human exposure to wildlife diseases
  • Utilization of landscape genetic approaches to evaluate geographic determinants of interactions between subpopulations and cross-species disease transmission events
  • Collaborations with federal, state, and academic partners to develop a disease database for free-ranging North American felids (bobcats, pumas, feral domestic cats)
Laboratory Animal Medicine/Husbandry
  • Behavioral and physiological impacts of environmental enrichment on laboratory rodents
  • Laboratory Animal Disease investigations
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Contact Us:
1682 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1682

(970) 491-6144

(970) 491-0603