Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program

Five Dogs


Karla Stucker, Graduate

Karla StuckerKarla Stucker
Field of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Colin Parrish

Current Postion: Postdoc at Craig Venter Institute


Brief Biography

Originally raised in the foothills of the Adirondacks with her parents and two younger sisters, she had been living among Ithaca's gorges for the past 10 years. Fortunately she enjoyed her time at Cornell, and in Ithaca, and greatly appreciated the year-round opportunities the area offered for getting outdoors. Her two dogs loved to accompany her on the trails when she hiked, skied, or ran. Much of her indoor time over the years has been spent at Cornell working towards her undergraduate, then veterinary and graduate, degrees. Obtaining her degrees certainly kept her busy, but allowed for a broad education that provided a solid foundation for her plans to pursue a career in academic research and teaching.

Currently she is a Post Doctoral Fellow at J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland.


PhD, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, 2010
DVM, May 2008 from Cornell University
BS, Biological Sciences, May 2002 from Cornell University

Research Interests

Canine parvovirus (CPV) is an excellent model system for studying viral emergence, the process by which a virus alters its host range and subsequently adapts to its new host. My current research is aimed at better understanding, at the molecular level, how CPV adapted to its new canine host. To this end, I have constructed mutant viruses that contain various combinations of changes in the amino acid sequence of the capsid protein between the original variant (CPV-2) and a newer variant (CPV-2b). I am now testing these intermediate viruses for viability, infectivity and antigenicity. The relative fitness of viable intermediate viruses will provide insight into the evolutionary history of CPV, and will hopefully provide a clearer understanding of the selection pressures placed on the virus during its adaptation to the canine host.

Publications & Presentations

Markovich, J.E., Stucker, K.M., Carr, A.H., Harbison, C.E., Scarlett, J.M., Parrish, C.R. (2012). Effects of canine parvovirus strain variations on diagnostic test results and clinical management of enteritis in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 241:66 - 72.

Allison, A.B., Harbison, C.E., Pagan, I., Stucker, K.M., Kaelber, J.T., Brown, J.T., Ruder, M.G., Keel, M.K., Dubovi, E.J., Holmes, E.C., Parrish, C.R. (2012). Role of multiple hosts in the cross-species transmission and emergence of a pandemic parvovirus. Journal of Virology, 86:865-872.

Stucker, K.M., Pagan, I., Cifuente, J.O., Kaelber, J.T., Lillie, T.D., Hafenstein, S., Holmes, E.C., Parrish, C.R. (2012). The role of evolutionary intermediates in the host adaptation of canine parvovirus. Journal of Virology, 86:1514-1521.

Baker Institute Seminar, 1/25/05, entitled "Capsid Protein Changes During the Evolution of Canine Parvovirus in Canine and Feline Host Ranges - Testing the Roles of Four Natural Mutations"

Poster for Xth Parvovirus Workshop, entitled "Canine Parvovirus Infection in Two Strains of Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) Cells - Variable Cell Susceptibility and Relationship to Virus Strain Differences"

Poster for ASV 2004, entitled "Regulation of Canine Parvovirus Infection in Two Strains of Madin-Darby Canine Kidney Cells"

Baker Institute Seminar, 3/9/04, and Work-in-Progress Department Seminar, 12/15/03, entitled "Host Range Evolution of Canine Parvovirus - Examining the Controls of Infection in Two Strains of MDCK Cells"