Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

horses  

Veterinarian Scientists


Cornell Clinical Fellow - Faculty Mentors

Selection of a Faculty Mentor

Cornell Clinical Fellows must identify a specific laboratory in which the research will be conducted.  The following faculty mentors have agreed to host a Cornell Clinical Fellow in their laboratory.  (Faculty web sites can be accessed by clicking on their photo).

Doug Antczak
Dr. Doug Antczak

dfa1@cornell.edu
(607)-256-5633
1) Use of interspecies (horse x donkey) hybrids to study genomic imprinting.  This is an ongoing collaboration with Dr Andy Clark of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. 2) Study of the mechanisms that prevent maternal immunological recognition and destruction of the developing mammalian fetus.  This project has been funded by the NIH nearly continuously since 1981 and focuses on the equine endometrial cups. 3) Studies of the equine Major Histocompatibility Complex, specifically the role of MHC genes in conferring susceptibility or resistance to the equine sarcoid skin tumor.
erica






Dr. Erica Behling-Kelly

eb58@cornell.edu
(607-253- 3018

My research is predominantly focused on two main areas of lipoprotein biology. 1) Studying the effects of disease or drug-induced alterations in serum lipids on hemostatic balance, specifically thrombosis and vascular inflammation. This is an understudied area in veterinary medicine. Circulating lipids can promote thrombosis by interacting with the cells in the blood (erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets) or the endothelial cells lining the vessel wall. Current studies actively seek to establish a role for lipid-induced alterations of erythrocyte cell membranes and chronic low-grade hemolysis in promoting thrombosis in the dog. We are also investigating the effects of serum lipoproteins on the fibrinolytic pathway in the dog, both in vitro and in vivo. A clinical fellow involved on this project would work to establish assays to measure canine plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), the main inhibitor of fibrinolysis, and use those assays to determine the impact hyperlipidemia has on serum PAI-1 and the effect of LDL on endothelial production of PAI-1 in vitro. 2) An emerging second area of investigation is to elucidate the contribution of LDL uptake in tumor pathogenesis and prognostication in a subset of canine tumor types. The uptake of LDL by tumor cells serves to increase their replication efficiency by providing substrates for membrane biosynthesis as well as metabolic intermediates. Work on this project would entail validation of LDL receptor antibodies for immunohistochemistry and analysis of archived canine tumor tissues to determine expression levels of the LDL receptor and if expression of this receptor relates to biological aggressiveness of the tumors.

Rodrigo Bicalho
Dr. Rodrigo Bicalho
rcb28@cornell.edu
(607-253-3140
1) Lameness is one of the greatest challenges facing the dairy industry because of the obvious suffering that is imposed in affected animals and the economic consequences of its occurrence. My previous and current lameness research interests are to understand the pathophysiology of claw horn disruption lesions, to evaluate preventive strategies, to investigate the microbial etiology of digital dermatitis, and to develop and test suitable vaccines against digital dermatitis. 2) Postpartum uterine diseases of cows—specifically puerperal metritis, clinical endometritis and subclinical endometritis—are important from both animal welfare and economic considerations because they contribute to cow discomfort and elimination from the herd, and have a profound negative effect on reproductive performance. Our metritis work is geared towards unraveling the dynamic bacterial pathogenesis of uterine diseases and the development of novel treatment and preventive strategies. 3) Bacteriophage therapy. There are approximately 106 phages per milliliter of water in the world’s oceans and lakes and 109 phages per gram of sediment and topsoil. Bacteriophages can be considered the perfect antimicrobial agents; they are highly specific to few bacterial species or even strains; they are non-toxic to mammals; they grow in exponential scale while precisely killing targeted bacteria5. Our research group is particularly interested in the prospect of replacing the use of antibiotics for the treatment of high incidence bovine diseases such as metritis, mastitis, and pneumonia.

Dr. Adam Boyko
Dr. Adam Boyko
arb359@cornell.edu
(607)-253-4447

The Rory J. Todhunter/Marta Castelhano and Adam Boyko laboratories are focusing on animal medical genetics. These two laboratories form the nucleus of the Cornell Biobank, which was established in 2006. The Cornell Biobank archives DNA and limited relevant tissue collected from animals admitted to the Cornell University for Animals. It currently houses DNA and phenotypes on over 9,000 animals. The predominant species represented is the dog.   We are currently genotyping over 4,000 pure breed dogs to map complex traits and diseases related to the orthopedics, oncology, ophthalmology, cardiology, morphology, hepatology, and gastroenterology. We are also pursuing markers for upper airway disease in horses and acquiring resources to undertake genetic mapping of production related traits in dairy cattle. Tools currently used include linkage mapping, GWAS, resequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and gene expression. In parallel with the molecular genetic research, we maintain a clinical presence for medical genetic consultation and phenotype screening of control dogs in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

Dr. Marta Castelhano
Dr. Marta Castelhano
mgc27@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3060

The Rory J. Todhunter/Marta Castelhano and Adam Boyko laboratories are focusing on animal medical genetics. These two laboratories form the nucleus of the Cornell Biobank, which was established in 2006. The Cornell Biobank archives DNA and limited relevant tissue collected from animals admitted to the Cornell University for Animals. It currently houses DNA and phenotypes on over 9,000 animals. The predominant species represented is the dog.   We are currently genotyping over 4,000 pure breed dogs to map complex traits and diseases related to the orthopedics, oncology, ophthalmology, cardiology, morphology, hepatology, and gastroenterology. We are also pursuing markers for upper airway disease in horses and acquiring resources to undertake genetic mapping of production related traits in dairy cattle. Tools currently used include linkage mapping, GWAS, resequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and gene expression. In parallel with the molecular genetic research, we maintain a clinical presence for medical genetic consultation and phenotype screening of control dogs in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals
Yung-Fu Chang
Dr.Yung-Fu Chang

yc42@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3675
To advance the understanding of mechanisms of C. difficile pathogenesis. The specific aims are: 1) Compare in vivo and in vitro transcriptome profiles of divergent strains.  2) Compare the transcriptome and proteome of different strains. 3) Provide experimental annotations for CDS and pathways of C. difficile strains and construct and characterize C. diffile mutants.
Jon Cheetham
Dr. Jon Cheetham
jc485@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3100
Laryngeal paralysis reduces airflow in the upper airway of canine, equine and human patients.  This leads to a variety of outcomes including life threatening airway obstruction requiring tracheostomy.  We are developing a range of microsurgical and tissue engineering techniques to restore function in patients with laryngeal paralysis.  The clinical fellow will receive microsurgical training at Columbia University and training in tissue engineering techniques at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Scott Coonrod
Dr. Scott Coonrod
sac269@cornell.edu
(607)-256-5657
Pepptidylarginine deiminase (PADI) enzymes convert protein arginine residue to citrulline. Elevated PADI activity (termed citrullination) is increasingly being associated with a range of chronic inflammatory diseases such as RA, Alzheimers, and COPD. We have recently found that PADI expression and activity is also elevated in specific subtypes of breast cancer and a current goal of our lab is to test the hypothesis that PADI-mediated inflammation is playing a role in mammary tumor progression. Possible research projects would likely involve making use of our existing human breast cancer cell lines (with depleted or overexpressed PADIs), mouse models of cancer, and samples of spontaneous mammary tumors in dogs and cats to try to strengthen links between PADIs, inflammation and tumor progression. Experiments could include testing whether depletion of PADI2 from breast cancer cells, tumor spheroids or tumor xenografts affects inflammatory marker expression. Further, correlations between PADI expression, tumor grade, and inflammatory marker expression in dog and cat mammary tumors could also be investigated.
Cumming
Dr. Bethany Cummings
bpc68@cornell.edu
(607) 253-3552

The broad focus of my research program is investigating the pathophysiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus and identifying novel interventions for the treatment and prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In particular, my current research program is focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms by which bariatric surgery causes type 2 diabetes resolution through the development and study of rat and mouse models of bariatric surgery. The two potential mechanisms that my lab is currently focusing on are: post-operative increases of circulating bile acid concentrations and decreases of circulating ghrelin concentrations. The post-operative changes of bile acids and ghrelin have been well described in both rodent and human clinical studies, however the actual contributions of each of these changes to the metabolic improvements following bariatric surgery have not been previously demonstrated or quantified. Therefore, my current research program is focused on evaluating the contributions made by each of these post-operative changes to the metabolic benefits of bariatric surgery. We are approaching this question using pharmaceutical addition and ablation techniques in a type 2 diabetic rat model and using genetic knockout mouse model approaches. In addition, we are conducting RNA-seq projects in order to identify novel contributors to the metabolic benefits of bariatric surgery.

Julia Felippe
Dr.Julia Felippe

mbf6@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3100
My laboratory studies the immune system of the horse, particularly immunodeficiencies and developmental immunology. We also provide immunologic testing for horses for the diagnosis of immunodeficiencies. Currently, our program investigates the regulatory mechanisms of equine B cell differentiation from hematopoietic stem cells, using cell culture, flow cytometry, quantitative RT-PCR, transcriptome and methylation assays.
Hume
Dr. Kelly Hume
krh73@cornell.edu
607-253-3516

My research focuses on understanding how DNA damage response and repair pathways influence tumorigenesis and sensitivity to therapeutics.  Current active projects in the lab include 1) a mouse model of non-small cell lung cancer whereby an oncogenic k-ras “tet-on” system is combined with partial impairment of Hus1 to assess tumorigenesis and sensitivity to cisplatin and RT and 2) biopsy assessment of feline injection site sarcomas to determine if expression of DNA damage response and repair factors can predict chemosensitivity.

Alan Nixon
Dr. Alan Nixon

ajn1@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3224
Use of stem cells for musculoskeletal repair allows autologous cells to be harvested and used for connective tissue lineage specific application in cartilage, tendon, and bone repair. Our laboratory and preclinical studies focus on gene-based manipulation of lineage and target cell function for enhanced repair. Combination of cell therapy and RNA silencing approaches to control catabolic processes afford better opportunity to regenerate cartilage, bone, or tendon, rather than simply repairing existing damage.
Daryl Nydam
Dr. Daryl Nydam

dvn2@cornell.edu
(607)-253-4391


I am a dairy cattle veterinarian using integrative epidemiologic approaches to dairy cattle well-being, production efficiency, and farm sustainability.  My research group endeavors to illuminate the constraints mammals face as they transition from late gestation to early lactation (milking cows) and from life in utero to neonates (calves), so that cattle are healthy and thus contribute to efficient, profitable, and environmentally sound production of safe foods.  These time frames are critical to the foundations of health in neonates and mature cows setting subsequent productive and reproductive performance.  Recent research efforts in our group have demonstrated the large negative consequences of mobilizing too much adipose tissue as non-esterified fatty acids and ketones on health, milk production, and reproductive performance.  In addition, we have investigated the impact zoonotic pathogens have on calf health and performance. We are currently working to identify nutritional, management, and pharmacologic strategies to help these transitions.
John Parker
Dr. John Parker

jsp7@cornell.edu
(607)-256-5626
The Parker lab studies the interactions of Feline calicivirus (FCV) with its cellular receptor, feline Junctional Adhesion Molecule A (fJAM-A) with the goal of identifying molecular determinants responsible for virus tropism. We hypothesize that FCV-fJAM-A interactions are critical determinants of the efficiency of virus infection and spread and hence, are likely critical factors in determining the pathogenesis of FCV disease.
Colin Parrish
Dr. Colin Parrish

crp3@cornell.edu
(607)-256-5649
The programs in my laboratory concern the analysis of viral host range and identifying the ways in which those can change so that viruses gain the abilities to bind and infect cells of various hosts.  We are primarily examining the models of feline parvovirus transferring into dogs to create canine parvovirus, and the equine influenza virus transferring into dogs, to give rise to canine influenza virus.  There are many opportunities to work on basic, applied, and clinical aspects of those model systems.
John Schimenti
 Dr. John Schimenti
 jcs92@cornell.edu   (607)-253-3636
Proper control and execution of DNA replication is critical for faithful transmission of the genome.  Replication stress, whether exogenous or genetically induced, can cause genom  Mcm4.  This mutation, named Chaos3 (Chromosome aberrations occurring spontaneously 3), caused exclusively mammary adenocarcinomas in homozygous nulliparous females in the C3H strain background, and other tumor types in different strain backgrounds.  Current projects concentrate on defining genomic alterations that occur in Chaos3 cells to drive cancer, to identify how genetic background modulates tumor type, and to develop molecular mechanisms of neoplastic transformation in replication-stressed cells.
Ynte Schukken
Dr. Ynte Schukken

yhs2@cornell.edu
(607)-255-8202
My research interest is in milk quality and endemic infections diseases on dairy farms. The two research focuses are on the epidemiology and clinical immunology of mastitis and Paratuberculosis  in dairy cows. Research projects include clinical trials and observational studies, challenge studies in our experimental facilities at Cornell and epidemiological modeling studies, often using data collected from field studies.
Kenneth Simpson
Dr. Kenneth Simpson

kws5@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3251

My research is focused on resolving the complex interactions between genetic susceptibility, bacteria and inflammatory responses in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas).  This involves the application of contemporary methodologies such as 16S rDNA pyrosequencing, Fluorescence in situ hybridization for bacteria, genome-wide analysis (SNP), and metabolic profiling to dogs, cats, people, and experimental models.
Tracy Stokol
Dr. Tracy Stokol

ts23@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3255
I am studying mechanisms of cancer metastasis in animals and humans, particularly the role of tissue factor in this process, focusing on tumor-endothelial and tumor-stromal cell interactions at metastatic sites. I also study mechanisms of thrombosis in animals, secondary to inflammation, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, and viral infections (specifically equine herpes virus type 1).
Susan Suarez
Dr. Susan Suarez

sss7@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3589
The main goal of our work is to understand how the interactions of sperm with the female reproductive tract enable sperm to reach and fertilize eggs.  The applications of our research include improving evaluations of fertility, diagnosing and treating infertility, improving the reproductive success of endangered species, and developing improved methods of contraception for humans, domestic pets, and pests. We are currently focused on movement of sperm through the oviduct (uterine tube). We investigate how sperm are held in and released from a storage reservoir, and how sperm may be guided toward the site of fertilization after release. We work primarily with cattle and collaborate with Genex/CRI artificial insemination cooperative, but we also use mice because we can actually watch the behavior of sperm within the mouse oviduct. The techniques we use include sperm and tissue preparation and incubation, video microscopy, image analysis, sperm motility analysis, protein gel electrophoresis and western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and immunoprecipitation.

Dr.Rory J. Todhunter
Dr. Rory J. Todhunter
rjt2@cornell.edu
(607)-253-3041

The Rory J. Todhunter/Marta Castelhano and Adam Boyko laboratories are focusing on animal medical genetics. These two laboratories form the nucleus of the Cornell Biobank, which was established in 2006. The Cornell Biobank archives DNA and limited relevant tissue collected from animals admitted to the Cornell University for Animals. It currently houses DNA and phenotypes on over 9,000 animals. The predominant species represented is the dog.   We are currently genotyping over 4,000 pure breed dogs to map complex traits and diseases related to the orthopedics, oncology, ophthalmology, cardiology, morphology, hepatology, and gastroenterology. We are also pursuing markers for upper airway disease in horses and acquiring resources to undertake genetic mapping of production related traits in dairy cattle. Tools currently used include linkage mapping, GWAS, resequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and gene expression. In parallel with the molecular genetic research, we maintain a clinical presence for medical genetic consultation and phenotype screening of control dogs in the Cornell University Hospital for Animals

Gerlinde Van de Walle
Gerlinde Van de Walle

Project 1: Establishment of an in vitro/ex vivo hepatic model system to study equine liver-tropic virusesRecently, novel viruses belonging to the Flaviviridae family have been identified in horses: non-primate hepacivirus (NPHV), Theiler’s disease associated virus (TDAV) and equine pegivirus (EPgV). However, information on their pathogenesis, course of infection and host cell tropism remains scarce, mainly due to the lack of proper tools to study these viruses. Since these viruses are believed to be liver-tropic, an equine in vitro/ex vivo hepatic model is urgently needed. The goal of this study would, therefore, consist of the establishment and optimization of a primary equine hepatocyte culture system or an ex vivo equine liver slice model, based on what is described in human literature to study hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Project 2: Proteomic analysis of the secretome of equine mesenchymal stem cells
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are adult multipotent cells which are of great interest in the field of regenerative therapy because of their unique ability to home to damaged tissue. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the regenerative potential of these cells arises from the secretion of bioactive factors rather than from their multipotent differentiation. As a result, the secretome of MSC, defined as the global group of secreted proteins, both soluble factors as well as factors released in extracellular vesicles (e.g. exosomes and microvesicles) is receiving a lot of attention. In equine medicine, MSC are mainly used to treat musculoskeletal diseases but not much is know to date about their secretome. The goal of this project would, therefore, consist of a proteomic analysis of the equine MSC secretome.

Bettina

 

 

 




Dr. Bettina Wagner

bw73@cornell.edu

Research in Dr. Wagner's laboratory focuses is on equine immunology. Topics include neonatal immunity, allergy and vaccine development to equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). The EHV-1 vaccine studies are performed in a model of immunologically EHV-1-naive horses (The Cornell Icelandic Horses). These studies aim to develop an EHV-1 vaccine for neonatal foals and also to evaluate vaccine candidates that provide better protection against neurological disease induced by EHV-1. We also investigate immune mechanisms that lead to clinical allergy by using Culicoides hypersensitivity, an allergy mediated by Culicoides-specific IgE, as a natural disease model. At Cornell, the immunologically naive horses are naturally exposed to Culicoides, with 50-70% of the naive horses developing the disease after being exposed and sensitized. Both projects include studies on cellular and humoral immune development to specific pathogens or allergens in foals and young horses to analyze characteristic aspects of their immune responses before the immune system becomes 'adult-like'. The horses are further used for various concise translational, clinical and diagnostic projects including testing of Lyme vaccines, colostrum studies and the development of new diagnostic assays for EHV-1 and other horse pathogens.

Host immunity and vaccine development to EHV-1 -The CCF project in Dr. Wagner's group focuses on EHV-1 vaccine studies that are performed in a model of immunologically EHV-1-naive horses (The Cornell Icelandic Horses). These studies aim to develop an EHV-1 vaccine for neonatal foals and also to evaluate vaccine candidates that provide better protection against neurological disease induced by EHV-1. We analyze various aspects of cellular and humoral immune development to EHV-1 using in vitro approaches and in vivo infection models. Emphasis is on the analysis of immune development in foals and young horses to identify characteristic aspects of their immune responses before the immune system becomes 'adult-like' and to use these mechanisms to develop better protection strategies against EHV-1 transmission and severe disease.

Robert Weiss
Dr. Robert Weiss

rsw26@cornell.edu
(607)-253-4443
The overall focus of my laboratory centers on mouse models for understanding how DNA damage response mechanisms and other regulatory pathways influence the origins and therapeutic sensitivity of cancers.  Potential projects for Clinical Fellows include but are not limited to:1) Roles for the DNA damage checkpoint protein Hus1 in tumorigenesis, including investigation of how Hus1 impairment sensitizes cancers to both spontaneous replication stress and chemotherapy-induced DNA damage. 2) requirements for the Sirtuin family of regulatory enzymes during tumor initiation and progression using knockout mice and small molecule pharmacological inhibitors. 3) Novel mouse models for understanding the initiating events in testicular germ cell tumor formation as well as the unique therapeutic sensitivity of these cancers.
gary whittaker
Dr. Gary Whittaker

grw7@cornell.edu
(607)-253-4019
Our current research on Feline Coronavirus is focused on identifying and characterizing the mutation(s) responsible for the transition from FECV to FIPV.  This involves molecular techniques such as cloning, viral pseudotyping, and DNA sequencing, as well as biochemical techniques.  There are are opportunities to work with archived samples from novel outbreaks of FIP and to perform techniques such as immunohistochemistry through our collaboration with faculty in Cornell’s Pathology Department.  Our hope is to develop better diagnostics and treatments for FIP.  There are also opportunities to study Canine Coronaviruses, including novel high path isolates, in collaboration with Cornell’s Diagnostic and Pathology laboratories.