Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program



Danielle Buttke, Graduate

Danielle Buttke Danielle Buttke
Field of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alexander Travis

Current Position: One Health Coordinator at National Park Service in Fort Collins Colorado

Brief Biography

Danielle grew up on a small dairy farm in rural South Dakota and received her BS in ecology and political science from the University of South Dakota. Her PhD thesis was the investigation of the influence of membrane microdomains and, specifically, the ganglioside GM1 in ion channel function and cell signalling using mammalian sperm during fertilization as a model. Danielle's focus was with large animals, with a primary interest in public health, vector-borne disease, and livestock systems in developing countries and a background in habit management and mapping. She also expressed a strong interest in conservation and teaching.

Danielle Buttke had worked as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. She was one of only 84 Epidemic Intelligence Service officers, with her work taking her around the world. Click on the provided links below to get a glimpse of what Danielle has been up to since graduating.

Investigating Liver Disease in Ethiopia
Blood from Yosemite workers could advance research
Epi-Aid Investigations


DVM/PhD, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University
BS in Biological Sciences from University of South Dakota, Vermillion

Research Interests

During her years at Cornell, Danielle investigated the role of membrane microdomains in ion channel activity and cell communication using mammalian sperm as a model. Specifically, she investigated the role of the ganglioside GM1 in modulation of signaling processes important to mammalian sperm capacitation and acrosomal exocytosis.

Publications & Presentations

Buttke DE, Sircar K, Martin C. Exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and age of menarche in adolescent girls in NHANES (2003-2008). Environmental Health Perspectives. 2012 Nov; 120 (11):1613-8

Buttke DE, Wolkin A, Stapleton HM, Miranda ML. Associations between serum levels of polybrominated diphenys ether (PBDE) flame retardants and environmental and behavioral factors in pregnant women. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2013 Mar; 23 (2):176-82.

Buttke DE. Toxicology, environmental helath, and the "One Health" concept. J Med Toxicol. 2011 Dec; 7 (4): 329-32.

Selvaraj V., Asano A., Buttke DE., Sengupta P., Weiss RS., Travis AJ. Mechanisms underlying the micron-scale segregation of serols and GM1 in live mammalian sperm. J Cell Physiol. 2009;218 (3):522-36

Buttke DE, Selvaraj V, Asnao A, McElwee JL, Wolff CA, Nelson JL, Klaus AV, Hunnicutt GR, Travis AJ. GM1 dynamics as a marker for membrane changes associated with the process of capacitation in murine and bovine spermatozoa. 2007; Journal of Andrology. 28(4):588-99.

Buttke DE, Nelson JL, Schlegel PN, Hunnicut GR, and Travis AJ. Visualization of GM1 with cholera toxin B in live epididymal versus ejaculated bull, mouse, and human spermatozoa. Biol Reprod. 2006;74 (5): 889-895.

Selvaraj V, Asano A, Buttke DE, McElwee JL, Wolff CA, Nelson JL, Merdiushev T, Fornes MW, Rothblat GH, Kopf GS, and Travis AJ. Segregation of micron scale membrane subdomains in murine sperm. J Cell Physiology. 2006 Mar; (206): 636-646.

Selected as an invited speaker at the American Society for Cell Biology international meeting with over 9,000 attendees in Washington, D.C. on the influence of membrane microdomains in mammalian sperm function, December of 2007.

Presented poster on the influence of gangliosides on signaling events related to sperm capacitation at the Gordon Conference on Fertilization and the Early Embryo in July of 2007

Presented a talk entitled "The role of GM1 in mammalian spermatozoa" at the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health weekly seminar in May of 2006

Presented poster "Visualization of GM1 in epididymal versus ejaculated mammalian sperm, and possible roles for GM1 in sperm capacitation" at the 2006 Keystone Symposium on Lipid Rafts in Cell Function in March of 2006

Presented poster on GM1 visualization in epididymal versus ejaculated bull, mouse, and human sperm at the Gordon Conference on Fertilization and the Early Embryo in July of 2005