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Graduate Programs


Current Students

Jason L. Liggett PhD Candidate
BS, University of Tennessee

Pathobiology, VTH A201
jliggett@utk.edu
Research Focus: The role of PPARg ligands in human colorectal cancer.
Major Professor: Dr. Seung Joon Baek
About: Jason works as a graduate assistant in the Environmental Carcinogenesis Lab, but before entering the program, he was an ASCP-certified medical technician and had his first paper published as an undergraduate. His interests outside of research span from snowboarding to reading about theoretical physics. He also enjoys rock climbing, surfing, hiking, backpacking, and what he calls mind-rot (video games). Jason is from Knoxville.

 

Tamara Veiga Parga PhD Candidate
DVM, Universidad Compultense (Madrid)

Research Focus: The role of T cells in herpetic stromal keratitis.
Major Professor: Dr. Barry T. Rouse
About: Tamara works as a graduate research assistant in the Viral Immunology Laboratory. She was born in northern Spain but moved at age 3 to Madrid. She completed her DVM in 2008 and thereafter moved to Knoxville to start a PhD. Tamara loves traveling, swimming, cooking desserts (loves cake decoration), and hanging out with friends (especially going out for tapas!). She was awarded one of the Graduate School’s Yates Dissertation Fellowships for the 2012–2013 academic year.

 

Ricardo Videla M.V., Diplomate ACVIM (Large Animal)
rvidela@utk.edu
Research Focus: Staphylococcus spp. clonal distribution and antibiotic resistance.
Major Professor: Dr. Stephen Kania
About: Ricardo was born and raised in Argentina, where he obtained his veterinary degree. He practiced as an equine veterinarian for a couple of years before coming to the United States to do an equine internship in California and then a large animal internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee. He is currently a master’s student and research assistant working with antibiotic resistance and clonal distribution of Staphylococcus spp. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities such as horse-back riding, kayaking, and hiking.

 

Jennifer Weisent PhD Candidate
DVM, Ross University; BS, Cornell University

Comparative Medicine, VTH A205
jweisent@utk.edu
Research Focus: Geographic epidemiology of endemic campylobacteriosis
Major Professor: Dr. Agricola Odoi
About: Before beginning her PhD studies, this Queens, NY, native was a small animal practitioner for three years. She also received two months of large animal veterinary clinical training in Spain and served two years as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. Jenny is fortunate to have been able to travel much of Central America and southern Africa. In her free time, she reads, writes, and breathes poetry or "plays" outside whenever she can - whitewater kayaking or surfing. Jenny describes herself as an avid nature lover and environmentalist. In the CEM program, she also works closely with Dr. Barton Rhorbach.

 


Recent Grads

Chad Black PhD 2010
DVM & BS, University of Tennessee

Research Focus:Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in veterinary Staphylococcus spp.
Major Professor: Dr. Stephen Kania
Job Placement: Major Chad Black is active in the U.S. Army and is a researcher in the Wound Infection Department of the Bacterial & Rickettsial Disease Division of Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, Silver Spring, MD.

Shambhunath Choudhary PhD 2009
BVSc, Kerala Agricultural University

schoudha@utk.edu
Research Focus: Purification and isolation of a novel protein kinase, and the pro-apoptotic ability of oncogenic ras in increasing cell susceptibility to HDACIs.
Major Professor: Dr. Hwa-Chain Robert Wang
Job Placement: Post-doctoral research associate, Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

Ashley Golden
PhD 2011 Research Focus: Epidemiology
Major Professor: Dr. Agricola Odoi
About: Biostatistician for the Center for Epidemiological Research at Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, TN.

 

Julia Gouffon PhD 2012
MS & BS, University of Tennessee

Nutrition, 234 JHB
jgouffon@utk.edu
Research Focus: Allelic variation of metabolic genes under nutritional control
Major Professor: Dr. Michael Zemel
Job Placement: Genetic application specialist for Affymetrix, covering NC, SC, FL, GA and Puerto Rico territory. UTK Affymetrix Core lab part-time.

Angela Witzel PhD 2009
DVM & BS, University of Tennessee

Small Animal Clinical Sciences, VTH C247
lusby@utk.edu
Research Focus: Characterization of feline adiponectin
Major Professor: Dr. Claudia Kirk
Job Placement: Clinical instructor, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee. Promoted to clinical assistant professor.

 

Ferenc Tóth PhD 2009
DVM, Szent Istvan University

Large Animal Clinical Sciences
ftoth@utk.edu
Research Focus: Glucose and insulin dynamics and laminitis in horses
Major Professor: Dr. Nick Frank
Job Placement: Resident in large animal surgery, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee. Currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Population Medicine Department.

 

Lisa Tadros PhD 2011
DVM, The Ohio State University

Research Focus: The relationships between systemic diseases and laminitis in horses
Major Professor: Dr. Nick Frank
Job Placement: Resident in Large Animal internal Medicine at Michigan State University.

 


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