Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors

*The following is by no means a complete list of possible mentors. Mentors may also be selected from other colleges across the university or from outside Texas A&M University with prior approval.




MENTORProjects in Clinical and Translational Science in Physiology, Pathophysiology and Developmental Biology
Donald Brightsmith, VTPB, Hill Country Aviary brightsmith1@tamu.edu Comparative ophthalmology with a focus on the ocular microbiome and clinical parameters of exotic species
Noah Cohen, VLCS NCohen@cvm.tamu.edu1. Evaluate different stimuli to induce innate immune memory in equine monocytes and their effects on intracellular killing and cell metabolism
2. Evaluate the effects of blocking surface receptors on equine monocytes in the immune response to R. equi infection (intracellular killing, gene expression, and activation of pathways, etc.)
Michelle Coleman, VLCS Coleman@cvm.tamu.eduIdentify differences in inflammatory and metabolic responses in obese and non-obese asthmatic horses
Kate Creevy, VSCS kcreevy@cvm.tamu.eduDog aging project: descriptive report of labwork findings in mature adult and senior dogs in the DAP Precision cohort whose owners reported them to be healthy at the time
Stacy Eckman, VSCS seckman@cvm.tamu.eduClinical research questions of interest to students
Dana Gaddy, VIBS dgaddy@cvm.tamu.edu1. Explaining muscle weakness and bone mineralization defects in sheep
2. Alkaline phosphatase deficiency association with
conceptus development defects and lung insufficiency
Richard Gomer, Biology; rgomer@bio.tamu.edu
Noah Cohen, VLCS NCohen@cvm.tamu.edu
Testing a potential therapeutic on horses with cicatrix. The initial
results are promising, and the project will involve some bench
biochemistry, histology, & assessments of pulmonary function
Jessica Hokamp, VTPB jhokamp@tamu.eduUrine and serum biomarkers of renal and urinary diseases in domestic
and exotic animals
Michelle Hook, COM michellehook@tamu.edu1. Interrogate the molecular mechanisms underlying the adverse
effects of opioids aGer spinal cord injury;
2. Test whether changes in parasympathetic innervation contribute to the loss of bone aGer spinal
cord injury
Greg Johnson, VIBS gjohnson@cvm.tamu.eduRegulation of placentation, maternal fetal interactions in the pig
Caitlin Mencio, VSCS/Shubot cmencio@cvm.tamu.edu1. Avian bornavirus vaccine challenge studies or
2. disease (specifically ABV) monitoring in wild bird samples from the BRTC
Mary Nabity, VTPB mnabity@cvm.tamu.eduBiomarkers and pathogenesis of kidney disease in dogs
Annie Newell-Fugate, VTPP anewell-fugate@cvm.tamu.eduAssess androgen effects on mouse white adipose tissue mitochondrial function & its contribution to insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome
Steve Safe, VTPP ssafe@cvm.tamu.eduDevelopment of ligand for the orphan nuclear receptor 4A and their applications in cancer, endometriosis, and neuronal diseases
Larry Suva, VTPP lsuva@cvm.tamu.edu1. Bone repair mechanisms in mouse models of Down Syndrome
2. Characterizing arthritic phenotype in a sheep model of
pseudoarthropathy of childhood
Shannon Washburn, VTPP swashburn@cvm.tamu.eduComprehensive evaluation of the pharmacokinetics and
pharmacodynamics of the anesthetic alfaxalone in sheep to evaluate its
safety and effectiveness and establish a relationship between the
plasma concentration and the clinical effect obtained aGer a single
dose of alfaxalone

Projects in Infection & Immunity and Epidemiology Research
Helene Andrews-Polymenis,  HSC, MPIM handrews@tamu.eduUse mouse genetics to understand the host determinants that contribute to different disease outcomes after infection with bacterial pathogens
Angela Bordin, VTPB abordin@cvm.tamu.edu1. Evaluate age-related differences in complement concentration in foal serum
2. Determine the effects of opsonization of Rhodococcus equi with specific complement components
3. Evaluate the effects of knocking out surface receptors on macrophages in the immune response to R. equi infection
4. Evaluate different stimuli to induce innate immune memory in equine monocytes and their effects on intracellular killing and cell metabolism
Jeffrey Cirillo,HSC, COM jdcirillo@tamu.eduDevelopment of personalized medicine to improve respiratory
infection outcomes and enhance protection from future lung diseases
Mike Criscitiello, VTPB mcriscitiello@cvm.tamu.eduEvolution of the vertebrate adaptive immune system, immunogenetic diversification of lymphocyte antigen receptors (I,I & E)
Sarah Hamer, VIBS shamer@cvm.tamu.eduEpidemiology/public health; vector-borne disease; wildlife disease;
community science; avian health (Schubot Center for Avian Health)
Sara Lawhon, Laura Bryan, VTPB slawhon@cvm.tamu.eduAntimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogenesis of bacterial pathogens of veterinary patients, with emphasis on Staphylococcus species, Campylobacter species, and Salmonella. Projects are developed through discussions between prospective students and Dr. Lawhon and take into consideration the individual student’s long-term career goals. Additional projects in the detection of novel pathogens in veterinary patients are available
Caitlin Mencio, VSCS/Schubot cmencio@cvm.tamu.edu1) Avian bornavirus vaccine challenge studies or
2) disease (specifically ABV) monitoring in wild bird samples from the BRTC
Keri Norman, VIBS knorman@cvm.tamu.eduEpidemiology of bacterial foodborne pathogens at the interface between agriculture and human health
Meriam Saleh, VTPB msaleh@cvm.tamu.edu Parasitology, particularly diagnosis/molecular characterization of canine intestinal parasites; tick-borne diseases; improved diagnosis of heartworm
James Samuel, COM jsamuel@medicine@tamhsc.eduHost-pathogen mechanisms in Coxiella burnetiid infection using
mouse models and primary macrophage cultures; surveys of protein
secretion & virulence using type 4 secretion system involved in
Guilherme Verocai, VTPB gverocai@cvm.tamu.edu1. Advancing molecular diagnostics of zoonotic, vector-borne nematodes of domestic and wild carnivores (e.g., dogs, cats, wild canids
2. Understanding the biodiversity and phylogenetic relationships of parasitic nematodes of wild North American ungulates (e.g., bison, cervids)
Zhilong Yang, VTPB yang@cvm.tamu.edu1. Identifying host factors that affect poxvirus replication
2. identifying anti-poxvirus compounds
3. developing vaccinia virus-based anti-cancer agents and vaccines against other infectious diseases through collaborative efforts
VERO, CANYON Texas Mentors and Projects 2023
Paul Morley, VERO pmorley@cvm.tamu.eduUse sequencing, bioinformatic and statistical analyses to investigate the relationship between microbial community structures and diseases in cattle or horses
Robert Valeris-Chacin, VTPB, VERO rvalerischacin@cvm.tamu.eduWhole genome sequencing of pathogens in cattle, with emphasis in Mycoplasma bovis, Mannheimia haemolytica, and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica, in order to get insights of their phylogeny, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes
Matthew Scott, VTPB, VERO mascott@cvm.tamu.eduHigh throughput host transcriptomics to predict risk and severity of bovine respiratory disease in beef cattle